In the Middle East and North Africa, we train customs officials to recognize signs of wildlife trafficking and stop it then and there.
Wildlife trafficking is a global industry, crossing borders and even continents. Despite regulations in countries where trafficking originates, animals and animal products still find their way into the black market through illegal smuggling.
Local customs officers are often the first line of defense in stopping this practice. But without the right resources and training, the trade continues.
This much is clear: ending illegal trade means empowering local officials. In Dubai, a global hub that unites east and west, we are working to do just that.
Since 2007, IFAW has equipped local customs officers with the knowledge and expertise to halt wildlife trafficking in real-time. We give them the tools they need to identify endangered species, recognize common signs of animal smuggling, and incorporate international rules and protections into their work.
But we’re not just helping governments—we’re connecting them. Whether sharing information to prevent the illegal trade of Barbary macaques from Morocco to Europe, or halting the sale of ivory from Ethiopia to China, coordination is key. So, we’re encouraging the exchange of information between source, transit, and final destination countries.
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The problems we face are urgent, complicated, and resistant to change. Real solutions demand creativity, hard work, and involvement from people like you.