The World Customs Organization and the Swedish International Development Agency join forces to combat illegal wildlife trade in East and Southern Africa

31 August 2021

The World Customs Organization (WCO)’s Environment Programme (EP) and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) renewed and enhanced their partnership in their efforts to curb illegal wildlife trade (IWT) by launching a new project, which officially kicks off on 1 September 2021 for an expected duration of two years.

The project has the objective to strengthen the enforcement capacities of a range of Customs administrations in East and Southern Africa to conduct more effective Illicit Wildlife Trade operations by addressing matters of international and inter-agency cooperation, risk management  and operational capacities with a specific focus on data collection, analysis and data exchange.

IWT affects adversely not only the environment but also economic and social development, as well as national and international security of the member countries. Law enforcement agencies are in the spotlight of fighting this global scourge, and Customs play a pivotal role by identifying, intercepting, and processing illegal transboundary wildlife trade consignments.

The WCO EP has a long history of success in providing support to Customs administrations in curbing IWT and enforcing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), especially under the auspices of the INAMA Project and the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC). This new project shows the steady commitment of the Programme and the WCO in tackling environmental matters.

The above-mentioned partnership demonstrates joint values by both partners in the desire to eliminate illegal wildlife trade and support the protection of wildlife resources.