The INAMA Project

The Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) has a devastating impact on the environment, the social and economic development of the affected countries, and international security. Wildlife crime is one of the largest organized criminal activities, and contributes billions of dollars to transnational organized crime groups that often traffic in other illegal commodities such as narcotics and weapons.

Inama means ‘wild animals’ in the language of the Zambian Bemba tribe. To tackle this criminal activity, in 2014 the WCO established the WCO INAMA Project. The WCO Environment Programme’s INAMA Project aims to mitigate this global scourge by strengthening the enforcement capacities of targeted Customs administrations in Asian, South American and sub-Saharan African countries in relation to IWT and the enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Currently, the Project is funded by the United States (US) Department of State.

US Department of State: INAMA III

INAMA III has the following IWT-related objectives, working with 13 beneficiary Administrations in sub-Saharan, South American and Asian countries to:

  • Enhance training capacity;
  • Improve risk management and case selection;
  • Strengthen interagency cooperation;
  • Support the drafting and implementation of Memoranda of Understanding.

The above activities will result in the establishment of enhanced enforcement capacity in the targeted Administrations, leading to more successful IWT enforcement operations.

A number of online and face-to-face activities are envisaged under INAMA III, such as:

  • Regional IWT workshops supported by the Compendium of Customs Operational Practices for Enforcement and Seizures (COPES) Programme;
  • Risk Management technical support national missions;
  • Risk Management global workshop;
  • National support missions and trainings delivered on legislation, enforcement and inter-agency cooperation.

Some of the activities are implemented with the support of the COPES Programme, and the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC).

INAMA III was initiated in September 2019 as a direct continuation of INAMA II, and will continue until December 2021.

Previous funding streams

The INAMA Project builds on the Great Apes and Integrity Project (GAPIN), which ran between 2010 and 2013.

Since its inception in 2014, and in a joint effort to tackle IWT, the INAMA Project has provided support to more than 30 countries and has benefitted from funding from:

  • The US Department of State;
  • Sweden;
  • The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ);
  • The CITES Secretariat.

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