WCO Participates in Kasane Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade

30 March 2015

The Kasane Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade was held on 25 March 2015 in Kasane, Botswana and aimed to build on the London Conference of February 2014. The event was opened by Lt General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the President of Botswana and brought together Heads of State, Ministers and senior officials from 32 countries and representatives from international and non-governmental organizations.

The Conference took note of the measures adopted by countries following the London Conference and adopted the Kasane Statement that focuses on four broad themes, namely reducing demand for illegal wildlife products, creating effective legal frameworks and deterrents, strengthening law enforcement and ensuring sustainable livelihoods and economic development. It calls specifically for law enforcement authorities to be provided with the resources, knowledge and capacity to combat illegal wildlife trade. At a political level, the Statement also calls for the 69th UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution on illegal wildlife trade.

The WCO intervention focused on the critical role played by Customs to combat illegal wildlife trade, including the tools and networks available for this, and Project INAMA. This Project focuses on strengthening the enforcement capacities of targeted Customs administrations in Sub-Sahara Africa and is funded by Sweden, the United States Department of State, GIZ of Germany and the CITES Secretariat. The WCO was represented by Erich Kieck, the Director of Capacity Building.