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Project GAPIN culminates in a Press Conference and successful Debriefing Session

03 marzo 2011


Mpumalanga, South Africa, 1-2 March 2011

Project GAPIN is a project focusing on the illegal trade in wildlife, and great apes in particular, and on the enhancement of Customs integrity in the area of CITES enforcement. The project started with a CITES/Integrity awareness workshop, was followed by an Operation and ended with a Debriefing Session preceded by a Press Conference in Mpumalanga (South Africa) on 1 March 2011.

The Press Conference was hosted by Mr. Zhu, Director of the Compliance and Facilitation Directorate in the World Customs Organization (WCO), and Mr. Moeng, Head of Customs Border Control from the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

The Operational Co-ordination Unit (OCU), located in Nairobi (Kenya) for the duration of the Operation in January/February 2011, presented its report during the Debriefing Session. Afterwards, each country gave a presentation providing specific details on seizures made, on the difficulties encountered and on the integrity issues that emerged. The participants also shared what they learned from Project GAPIN in terms of CITES enforcement and integrity.

The group that participated in Project GAPIN has formed a genuine network that continues to resonate even now that the Project has come to an end. Real co-operation is in place and awareness has been raised amongst Customs administrations on the importance of wildlife enforcement and the role played by integrity in that context. Thanks to the Operation, some administrations have received additional government financing to improve their work in the area of wildlife enforcement.

Project GAPIN was generously funded by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.