WCO INAMA Project delivers Multi-Regional Workshops on Illegal Wildlife Trade

17 May 2023

In the framework of the INAMA Project, the WCO organized two Multi-Regional Workshops, which gathered participants from 13 beneficiary administrations coming from Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and South America at the WCO Headquarters.

A Train-the-Trainer (TTT) Workshop took place from 9 to 12 May 2023, as a follow-up to the National Training Workshops on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) held in all beneficiary administrations, where the enhancement of CITES and Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) training modules, or their inclusion into their learning frameworks, was discussed. The multi-regional workshop was conducted by the WCO INAMA Project team with the support of recognized experts from the UK Border Force and the Belgian CITES Management Authority, and the WCO Capacity Building Programme. During the TTT Workshop, Customs trainers and IWT experts from beneficiary administrations received in-depth training on CITES and IWT, while various practical exercises and group work allowed them to enhance their presentation skills and training techniques on CITES and IWT matters.

Subsequently, from 15 to 17 May 2023, the WCO project team organized an IWT Risk Management (RM) Workshop, with the support of an accredited expert from the Polish Customs Administration. This multiregional workshop targeted national RM experts from the beneficiary administrations, who participated in the National RM missions which focused on the development or enhancement of CITES risk profiles and indicators and on RM training specifically focused on CITES and IWT. The RM Workshop provided a setting for the RM experts from the beneficiary administrations to discuss and compile common Risk Indicators and Profiles and to share best practices and exchange views on the interlinks between risk management and environmental crimes. Also, risk assessment tools and techniques were explored, as were sources of data for RM, including CEN data analysis and visualization.

About 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 finances transnational organized crime groups that are often involved in other illegal commodities such as narcotics and weapons. Law enforcement agencies are in the spotlight of fighting this global scourge, and Customs Administrations play a pivotal role by identifying, intercepting, and processing illegal transboundary wildlife trade consignments.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a legally binding international agreement that sets the rules to ensure that trade in CITES-listed species rests on three pillars: sustainability, legality and traceability. The CITES provides varying degrees of protection to more than 38,700 species of animals and plants, including their parts and derivatives. More than 97% of CITES listed species can be legally traded for commercial purposes, which places a considerable responsibility on Customs administrations to identify illegal trade.

About the INAMA Project

The WCO Environment Programme - INAMA Project aims to strengthen the enforcement capacities of targeted Customs administrations in Sub-Saharan Africa, South America and Asia in relation to IWT and the enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).The Project is funded by the United States Department of State and currently has two sub-projects, “INAMA Global” and “INAMA India”, with activities focused on enhancing comprehension on the illicit wildlife trade phenomenon and training capacity, improving risk management and case selection capabilities, fostering interagency and international cooperation, and strengthening operational capacities. The current phase of the Project will run until September 2023.

For more information about the INAMA Project, please visit the INAMA Project webpage or contact EnvironmentProg@wcoomd.org.