International consortium to strengthen global action on combating wildlife crime

Updated on 26 November 2022


International consortium to strengthen global action on combating wildlife crime

Geneva,15 August 2019 - The International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) will host three high-profile events at this month’s CITES conference to draw attention to activities for enabling authorities to effectively respond to wildlife crime and the organized crime groups behind such crimes.

The ICCWC is a collaboration involving the CITES Secretariat, INTERPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Bank and the World Customs Organization (WCO). Through its Strategic Programme 2016-2020, the Consortium is  supporting and enhancing the capacity of customs, police, wildlife authorities and entire criminal justice systems around the world to respond to wildlife crime.

The three side events are:

  • On 18 August, ICCWC will convene a side event to emphasize the importance of targeted responses to combat wildlife crime. The preliminary findings of the second edition of the World Wildlife Crime report will be presented. This report, being developed by drawing upon the best data and case studies available, in particular data provided by CITES Parties through their annual illegal trade report submissions, will serve as a powerful tool to inform decision making and support the development of appropriate law enforcement responses to wildlife crime. The event will also highlight the outcomes and impact of operations at the regional and global levels, in particular through the Thunder-series of Operations supported by the Consortium, including an operation conducted in June 2019, codenamed Operation Thunderball, that involved 109 countries and resulted in over 1,800 seizures across all continents, the identification of close to 600 suspects, and triggering multiple investigations and prosecutions worldwide. (see the flyer of the side event)
  • On 19 August, ICCWC will convene a side event during which strategic approaches to address wildlife trafficking will be discussed. The event will focus on matters such as Customs wildlife enforcement operations and combating wildlife crime linked to the Internet. An overview of guidelines to combat wildlife crime linked to the Internet that are currently under development will be provided, and the event will also draw attention to global initiatives to combat such crimes.  (see the flyer of the side event)
  • On 21 and 22 August, ICCWC will convene the Third Global Meeting of Wildlife Enforcement Networks (WENs). The meeting will bring together networks from around the world, and wildlife law enforcement officers as well as a broad range of other relevant stakeholders to share experiences on strengthening efforts at the regional, sub-regional and global level to combat wildlife crime. Guidelines for Wildlife Enforcement Networks aimed at further strengthening the role of WENs in the fight against wildlife crime arecurrently under development. These guidelines will provide a self-assessment tool that can be drawn upon both when establishing a new WEN, or to strengthen an already existing WEN. Targeted discussions will be held at the WEN meeting to further refine these guidelines.

Ivonne Higuero, Secretary-General of CITES said: “Over the next two weeks, CITES Parties will discuss a wide variety of matters and make critical decisions to protect our wildlife. While much of the conversation will focus on ensuring trade is legal and sustainable, CoP18 will provide a crucial space for policymakers and law enforcement practitioners to come together, exchange best practices, and agree on measures to strengthen responses to wildlife crime.”

 “Wildlife crime continues to pose a serious threat to many species, and the criminal groups involved are increasingly organized, and constantly adapting their tactics to conceal their illegal activities and avoid detection. The good news is that the Consortium will continue to relentlessly work with the law enforcement community, building capacity and making available the tools and services they need to bring these criminals to justice by enabling them to mobilize the same measures against wildlife crime as those used against other serious domestic and transnational organized crimes”, she added.

The growing number of planned and ongoing activities under the auspices of ICCWC would not have been possible without strong donor support. The Consortium thanks the European Union, France, Germany, the Principality of Monaco, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America for their continued support to ICCWC.


For more information on ICCWC please visit: /eng/prog/iccwc.php

The #CoP18 document on the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) can be found on: /sites/default/files/eng/cop/18/doc/E-CoP18-015-05.pdf

An information document on the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) submitted to #CoP18 can be found here.