IFAW workshop in Guyana targets illegal wildlife trade

Monday, 1 June, 2009
Georgetown, Guyana
More than 45 customs agents, forestry officials, border guards, police officers, veterinarians and wildlife law enforcement officials are gathering today in the South American country of Guyana to begin a four-day workshop on combating illegal wildlife trade. The workshop is being jointly organized by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org) and the Guyana Wildlife Management Authority. Countries in attendance include Guyana, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname.

This is the third wildlife law enforcement training being held by IFAW in the region since 2007. The trainings cover implementation and enforcement of international wildlife law, interagency cooperation, intelligence techniques, species identification, management of physical and forensic evidence, and the care and transport of confiscated animals.

The wider Caribbean is rich in biodiversity and home to many commercially important species such as parrots, macaws, snakes and amphibians. However, the illegal and unsustainable trade in wildlife presents a major threat. Many species are harvested to supply the global demand for exotic pets, meat and luxury goods.

In his remarks at Sunday’s opening ceremony, Presidential Advisor on Sustainable Development, Mr. Navin Chandarpal, pointed out that, “In order to be effective, there must be full cooperation among wildlife law enforcement agencies plus all those involved one way or another in legal trade. If we cannot control the illegal trade, then the legal trade will be undermined, people’s livelihoods harmed, and ecosystems destroyed.” 

“The illegal trade in wildlife represents a serious threat to the survival of many endangered species both globally and in the Caribbean,” added Kelvin Alie, Senior Program Officer in IFAW’s Wildlife Trade Program. “The financial cost of the illegal wildlife trade runs into billions of dollars and its environmental costs are immeasurable.”

Past IFAW wildlife law enforcement training workshops in the Caribbean nations of Trinidad & Tobago and Dominica, as well as several in Middle Eastern and northern African nations, have been well-received and highly effective, according to participants. Just last month, a seizure of 1000+ animals in Trinidad and Tobago, was attributed to an IFAW training in the country just over one year ago.

Post a comment

Press Contact

Colleen Cullen (IFAW, Headquarters)
Contact phone:
+1 508 744 2236
Contact email:


Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy