The WCO Inama project provides national support to Burkina Faso Customs to strengthen capacities to fight Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT)

26 abril 2018

The WCO is committed to mitigate environmental crime and works continuously to support Member Customs administrations to tackle smuggling, poaching and trafficking of prohibited goods. The WCO Inama project, part of the WCO’s Environment Programme, aims to strengthen the enforcement capacity of certain Customs administrations in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on the illegal trade in wildlife and in particular on the species listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Late in 2016 the WCO prioritized 7 countries that would benefit from tailor-made national support during 2017 and 2018, under the auspices of the Inama project. Each prioritized Customs administration received a scoping mission to validate the findings of their self-assessments on enforcement of CITES based on the WCO-Inama Institutional Assessment Tool.

Burkina Faso was one of the countries that benefitted from such a scoping mission and as a result a diagnostic report and related work plan containing key recommendations was drafted and approved by the Burkina Faso Customs Director General. The first mission to implement some of the activities within the work plan was conducted in April 2018.

150 kg of hippopotamus meat seized

This was conducted over 10 working days and focused on the secondment of experts to the main wildlife trade corridors in the country. In close cooperation with the Customs Headquarters, the Customs Mobile Units and the Burkina Faso’s Wildlife Authorities, the seconded experts provided support to enhance the controls on illegally traded wildlife products and to transfer information and intelligence from the border posts.

As a direct consequence of this secondment, 150 Kg of hippopotamus meat (part of CITES Annex II species) were seized by the Burkina Faso’s Customs administration and Wildlife Authority. The meat was dissimulated in three big packages containing fish. According to the Burkina Faso’s Wildlife Authorities, the illicit goods were seized in a Malian passenger transport bus, travelling from Senegal to Benin.

The whole Inama project is currently funded by the US Department of State and Sweden. This particular activity was sponsored by Sweden.

For more information on the Inama project, please contact Roux Raath, WCO Environment Programme Manager, WCO Compliance and Enforcement Sub-Directorate,