The WCO INAMA-COPES workshops go online

22 septiembre 2020

The World Customs Organization (WCO)’s INAMA Project has successfully organized two 5-day online COPES workshops from 24 to 28 August and from 31 August to 4 September 2020 respectively. The first workshop targeted selected African and Asian Customs administrations (Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Nigeria, Uganda and Vietnam), while the second one focused on South American countries (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana and Peru). A total of 25 participants attended the webinars, funded by the United States Department of State.

The WCO INAMA Project aims to strengthen the enforcement capacity of targeted Customs administrations in South American, sub-Saharan African, and Asian countries in mitigating Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT), particularly regarding species listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). COPES stands for “Customs Operational Practices for Enforcement and Seizures” and covers issues of collection of evidence, seizures, investigations, operations and prosecutions – among others. The WCO Environment Programme received positive feedback from the participants: ‘this training increased my overall knowledge in the field of enforcement and seizures best practices, while raising the awareness on the devastating impact of wildlife crime to our communities’ said a satisfied participant.

COPES workshops are usually conducted as physical events, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts were shifted towards online training. Although participants and experts were not sitting in the same room, making interaction and practical exercises not an easy task, the groups were active, engaged and committed. The fight against IWT continues, despite the pandemic!