This section brings periodical updates on recent activities undertaken as part of the UNODC Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime.
     
 

The Toolkit

The Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit has been successfully implemented in Bangladesh, Botswana, Gabon, Nepal and Peru. Currently, UNODC personnel are implementing the Toolkit and collaborating with the governments of Mexico and Vietnam in assessing wildlife and forest capacities. Additionally, Toolkit implementation has been requested by Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Congo (Brazaville), Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania and Togo. Please find more information about the Toolkit here.

     
   

UN General Assembly Resolution, 30 July 2015

UNODC welcomes the unanimous decision at the 69 th session of the United Nations General Assembly, to adopt a resolution on Tackling Illicit Trafficking in Wildlife (A/69.L80), calling for counties to increase efforts to counter and prevent illicit wildlife trafficking and illegal poaching. Through the resolution, the UNGA expresses their concern over the expansion of wildlife crime networks, which has transformed into one of the largest transnational organised criminal activities, alongside trafficking in drugs, arms and human beings. Co-sponsored by Germany and Gabon, the resolution recognises the effects of illegal wildlife trafficking on species and ecosystems, as well as taking into consideration the effects it has on the livelihoods of local communities.The adoption of this resolution demonstrates the "heightened level of political concern over the devastating impacts of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife" and signifies that the UN considers ending wildlife crime to be a top priority. 

   
   

Operation COBRA III, 19 June 2015

The International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) welcomed today the results achieved during Operation COBRA III, an international law enforcement operation conducted in May 2015 with the aim of combating wildlife crime and bringing the criminals involved to justice. Operation COBRA III resulted in 139 arrests and more than 247 seizures, which included elephant ivory, medicinal plants, rhino horns, pangolins, rosewood, tortoises and many other plant and animal specimens. UNODC Executive Director highlighted that "the success of Operation COBRA III sheds light on the widespread and intricate network of criminals who are profiting from wildlife trafficking worldwide. While I congratulate the participating countries on these seizures, I also hope that equal emphasis is placed on the prosecutions and intelligence-led investigations which have to follow. It is key to keep in mind that it takes a network to defeat a network."  Please read more here

     
   

Training Courses, Vietnam, June 2015

50 front-line officers representing Border Liaison Offices (BLO) and related customs agencies finished two intensive five-day training courses in Tay Ninh city, Tay Ninh Province and in Dong Ha City, Quang Tri Province on electronic surveillance and controlled deliveries. UNODC equipped authorities from around Viet Nam with the GPS tracking technology and trained officers how to use mobile platforms to crackdown on traffickers of wildlife, drugs and other commodities. These two courses are among the latest in a series of innovative UNODC technology packages designed to enhance law enforcement knowledge and skills and better prepare officers for the challenges faced everyday along the borders of the Greater Mekong Subregion, an area highly exposed to the threats of trafficking. Read full story here.

     
   

EU Action Plan, April 2015

On 15 April, UNODC Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime took part in a conference at the European Parliament co-hosted by the Born Free Foundation and MEPs for Wildlife. The conference was part of a week-long series of events to highlight the scale of the illegal wildlife trade and urge the European Commission to develop an EU Action Plan. UNODC reported on the enforcement challenges faced in tackling wildlife and forest crime, provided recommendations for an action plan and took part in a speaker panel discussion.  UNODC welcomes the European Parliament call for an EU Action Plan on Illegal Wildlife Trade and urges the European Commission to take notice and develop a comprehensive and balanced strategy to combat transnational organized wildlife and forest crime.

     
   

World Wildlife Day, March 2015

3 March marks World Wildlife Day - a day which both celebrates the intrinsic value of wild fauna and flora and acts as a reminder of the urgent need to tackle wildlife and forest crime. UNODC worked closely with other UN and international agencies as well as civil society to develop a coordinated social media campaign to use the opportunity of World Wildlife Day to significantly raise awareness and drive home the central message that it is time to get #SeriousAboutWildlifeCrime. In his World Wildlife Day statement, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov stated that as a serious form of transnational organized crime, wildlife crime generates billions of dollars for criminal networks while at the same time undermining development. "This is also an inter-generational crime that can permanently scar the world through the loss of some of our most beautiful creatures," he noted. "To stop this, we must act now." As the offences committed today are denying the heritage of future generations, Mr. Fedotov added, "to confront this crime we need to join a global partnership united by the same belief: it's time to get serious about wildlife crime." Jorge Rios, Chief of UNODC's Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime, celebrated World Wildlife Day in Nepal. He attended an event at the Chitwan National Park commemorating Nepal's success in achieving zero poaching over the last year for rhinos, tigers and elephants.

     
   

Recovering the Proceeds from Wildlife and Forest Crime, Uganda, February 2015

UNODC organised a workshop on 'Recovering the Proceeds from Wildlife and Forest Crimes' in Uganda from 23 - 27 February 2015. Facilitated by experts from UNODC, the workshop was attended by representatives from various fields of expertise including investigators, prosecutors, police, customs and wildlife authorities to address the issue of taking the proceeds from wildlife and forest crime. It provided an opportunity for participants to better understand and apply relevant legislation and created a platform to discuss the use of investigative tools, freezing and management of assets, money laundering prosecutions, calculation of confiscation, Mutual Legal Assistance and the importance of international cooperation. This was a practical case-study based workshop, which resulted in improved knowledge of relevant national legislation and its applicability in the field. Participants are also expected to organise follow-up activities and training to raise awareness of the issue within their respective organisations.

     
   

Ivory Sampling Training Video, Dubai, January 2015

From 5 - 11 January, UNODC took part in an INTERPOL-lead Wildlife Incident Support Team (WIST). The WIST was deployed with the purpose of sampling a large ivory seizure made by Dubai Customs. The team recorded the weight and measurements of each tusk, the total seizure weight of 1.5 tonnes. The samples will be sent to laboratories in USA and Germany for DNA and isotope analysis in order to determine the origin and age of the ivory. Each step of the sampling process was recorded on video. INTERPOL will use this footage to create a training video to assist countries in better understanding and performing the ivory sampling procedures. The video will be released in the coming months.

     
   

Information Sharing Study, December 2014

In December 2014, UNODC conducted a feasibility study titled 'Information sharing mechanism on wildlife and timber trafficking in the ASEAN Region'. It explores the feasibility of an information sharing mechanism that would allow the generation of criminal intelligence at regional level in relation to wildlife and forest crimes. The study entailed consultations with various partners including INTERPOL, WCO, ASEAN WEN and Freeland Foundation. The report will be distributed in the first quarter of 2015.

     
   

Expert Group Meeting on Timber Analysis, December 2014

UNODC together with ICCWC partners, united efforts to tackle timber crimes by bringing together 30 experts from various disciplines to discuss issues related to timber trafficking and how the use of scientific methods can support law enforcement operations and judicial responses to this crime. Experts from around the world gathered in Vienna from 10 - 12 December to look at the timber trafficking problem and the available scientific solutions. The dialogue between the scientists, law enforcement and representatives of the legal system, lead to a number of practical recommendations and a common agreement by the experts to work together to promote the use of scientific methods in this area. The initial step is the development of a guide on methods and procedures of timber identification. The guide will form a comprehensive document looking at law enforcement, forensic science and legal requirements in the area of timber analysis. An outline of the content of the guide was developed by the experts at the meeting. The document will be prepared with expert contributions and finalized at the follow up Expert Group Meeting in 2015. In addition, a conference room paper summarising the discussions and key recommendations put forward by the experts will be issued by UNODC and presented at the 2015 Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Responses.

     
   

Recovering the Proceeds from Wildlife and Forest Crime, Panama, November 2014

From 1 - 4 December, 2014 a conference was held in Panama city, jointly organized by UNODC's Global Programme against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism (GPML) and Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime. This four-day conference was attended by 8 countries and approximately 21 delegates from the Caribbean region. In addition to the presence of experts from UNODC, the conference was also attended by representatives from the Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Basel Institute on Governance, INTERPOL, CFATF, TRAFFIC/WWF, CARIN and AML Solutions International. The event provided an opportunity for participants to better understand and apply the relevant legislation and created platforms to discuss the use of investigative tools, freezing and management of assets, money laundering prosecutions, calculation of confiscation, Mutual Legal Assistance and the importance of international cooperation.

     
   

Recovering the Proceeds from Wildlife and Forest Crime, Kenya, November 2014

From 24-28 November 2014, in Naivasha, Kenya UNODC organised a workshop hosted by the Government of Kenya and in cooperation with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Basel Institute on Governance and INTERPOL. It brought together over 40 participants, including prosecutors, investigators, customs, Kenya Revenue Authority, judiciary, wildlife authorities and other relevant Kenyan agencies in order  to address the issue of taking the proceeds from wildlife and forest crime as well as to raise awareness of the importance of using financial investigation and anti-money laundering techniques to tackle transnational organized wildlife and forest crime. Participants recognised the importance and necessity of cross-border cooperation to effectively deal with wildlife/timber crime cases and to track and confiscate its proceeds.

     
   

UNODC Side Event, Vienna, October 2014

The UNODC Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime and the UNODC Advocacy Section organized a side event entitled 'Wildlife and Forest Crime: a transnational organized crime' in October 2014. Held during the 7th Conference of the Parties to United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and opened by the UNODC Deputy Executive Director, the side event attracted over 70 attendees. It provided an opportunity to discuss the scale and scope of transnational organized wildlife and forest crime with panellists providing an overview of implications for development and national security. The UNODC SHERLOC portal and Container Control Programme were presented and the Global Wildlife Crime Research Initiative was launched. The presentations were followed by an interactive discussion during which several Member States expressed their support for UNODC activities in combating wildlife and forest crime.

     
   

UNODC - World Bank meeting, Washington D.C., October 2014

In October 2014, a joint UNODC - World Bank meeting was held in Washington, D.C. to discuss the impact of the implementation of World Bank Development Grant Facility-funded projects and activities of UNODC and ICCWC. UNODC reported on how the five international institutions of ICCWC have collaborated and identified important areas in which to comprehensively focus resources. Experts present agreed that: a) the ICCWC initiative is extremely important and must continue; b) investment should increase in law enforcement and criminal justice system, including addressing anti-money laundering issues; and c) that raising the profile of wildlife and forest crime must continue.

     
   

Container risk profiling for wildlife and timber, Tanzania, September 2014

From 15 - 20 September 2014, UNODC conducted a port assessment in Dar es Salaam. During the visit, meetings were held with customs officials, police, the Wildlife Department and Port Authorities. A comprehensive briefing on the implementation of the WCO - UNODC Container Control Programme (CCP) in the port of Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar was delivered to the Commissioner General of Tanzania Revenue Authority, who welcomed the initiative and pledged support. In Uganda, consultation meetings took place with the Uganda Revenue Authority, the Uganda Police Service, and the Uganda Wildlife Authority regarding the implementation of CCP. A number of Ugandan authorities expressed their support and welcomed the initiative, highlighting in particular the importance of the regional approach of CCP, linking Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

     
 

Recovering the Proceeds from Wildlife and Forest Crime, Tanzania, September 2014

From 8 to 12 September 2014, UNODC organised a workshop on 'Recovering the Proceeds from Wildlife and Forest Crimes', jointly with the Government of Tanzania and in partnership with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the British High Commission. The workshop brought together over 60 participants, including investigators, prosecutors, police, customs, wildlife authorities from both Mainland and Zanzibar. It was a practical case-study based workshop, which resulted in an improved knowledge of relevant national legislation and its applicability. The participants drafted legislative documentation, which can be used in future cases. Participants are also expected to organise follow-up activities and training to raise awareness of  the issue within their respective organisations.

     
   

Forensic Needs Assessment - Botswana, September 2014

UNODC Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime supports the use of forensics to combat wildlife crime and is working with partners to strengthen national capacities. The Republic of Botswana is home to one of the largest elephant populations in the Africa. UNODC is working the government to improve its preventive and law enforcement response to wildlife crime. From 1 st to 5 th September, UNODC conducted a joint field visit to Botswana with experts from TRACE Wildlife Forensics Network and the Netherlands Forensic Institute and carried out a coordinated assessment of wildlife DNA forensics. Concrete recommendations are now being drafted and will be shared with the government in a comprehensive report.

     
 

Strengthening law enforcement cooperation in Central Africa, June 2014

UNODC participated in a regional training dedicated to wildlife and forest crime, held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on 24-26 June 2014 and organized by COMIFAC in collaboration with TRAFFIC and WWF. This workshop gathered representatives of Ministries, law enforcement officers and magistrates from 6 COMIFAC countries (Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo). A practical training on investigative techniques specific to wildlife and forest crime was delivered to law enforcement officers including on informants, undercover agents, controlled deliveries and electronic surveillance.

     
 

Regional Anti-Money Laundering Workshop, June 2014

In order to address national capacity building in anti-money laundering techniques, a regional workshop was held in Botswana on the proceeds of wildlife crime with 20 participating countries from 3 to 5 June. This workshop brought together all relevant agencies in order to raise awareness of the importance of using financial investigation and anti-money laundering techniques to tackle transnational organized crime involved in the trafficking of protected wild fauna and flora as well as to design specialized training programmes.

     
   

National Environmental Security Seminar, Togo, May 2014

UNODC supported the organisation of a National Environmental Security Seminar in Togo, held in Lomé, on 20 May. The seminar raised awareness of the threat posed by environmental crime, adopted an inter-agency strategy in line with environmental regulations and developed information sharing practices as well as multilateral cooperation. Based on these findings, UNODC will deliver tailor-made technical assistance activities in order to strengthen capacities to address wildlife and forest crime through different programmes and tools presented during the seminar, such as the Toolkit, the UNODC/WCO Container Control Programme (CCP), the UNODC/Interpol/WCO Airport Communication Programme (AIRCOP) and the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI).

   
 

CCPCJ 23rd Session, May 2014

The twenty-third session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice was held from 12 to 16 May at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. This year the thematic discussion focused on international cooperation in criminal matters in order to improve the integration and coordination of efforts of UNODC and Member States in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice. A Special Event promoted public awareness and strengthening of political and financial commitments by governments to combat wildlife and forest crime. Activities conducted and planned by ICCWC were presented at a side-event.
Member States adopted a resolution on 'Strengthening a targeted crime prevention and criminal justice response to combat illicit trafficking in timber and forest products'. The resolution, sponsored by Norway, Peru and USA, has now been recommended for adoption by the Economic and Social Council. The resolution invites UNODC to promote enforcement,  identify good practices in the area of criminal law, and undertake research on organized criminal networks related to illicit trafficking in forest products, including timber.

   
   

Experts meeting: how to better fight wildlife trafficking in the EU and globally, April 2014

In April 2014, UNODC was part of the group of experts that met to discuss "How to better fight wildlife trafficking in the EU and globally". Specifically, Jorge E. Rios, Chief of Sustainable Livelihoods Unit and Coordinator of the UNODC Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime provided a presentation about prosecution of illicit financial flows against organized wildlife crime providing information about the current situation, the challenges that exists and some approaches to tackle this issue.

   
 

World Wildlife Day, March 3rd 2014

On March 3 rd UNODC joint the international community and celebrated the first World Wildlife Day. Join UNODC to say NO to wildlife crime and spread the message as we work to end this illegal and unethical trade.

See World Wildlife Day for further information.
   
 

London Conference: The Illegal Wildlife Trade, February 2014

The UK government hosted an international conference on illegal wildlife trade on February 2014. UNODC in its commitment to fight and combat wildlife trafficking was presented to discuss and more important to find viable solutions to strengthen law enforcement and the criminal justice system, reduce demand for illegal wildlife products and support the development of sustainable livelihoods for communities affected by illegal wildlife trade.

   
   

ICCWC News

   

Since the foundation of ICCWC, the following joint activities have been executed within the framework of the Consortium:

- Within the framework of the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES held from 3 to 14 March 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand, the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime host two major events. The first event, a roundtable on combating transnational organized wildlife and forest crime for Ministers and high-level representatives, was held on 4 March 2013 with the purpose for States and regions to share experiences on their efforts to combat transnational wildlife crime; identify what further actions are required; and commit to combating wildlife and forest crime at the highest political levels. The second event was the first global meeting of wildlife enforcement networks on 5 March 2013 with the aim to support a more coordinated enforcement response. The purpose of the meeting was for existing and proposed networks to discuss the need for a global system to improve coordination and effectiveness and to consider the role that ICCWC, together with other partners, could play in such a system.

- A senior-level seminar for Police and Customs officers of the Tiger Range States (TRSs) was convened from 13 to14 February 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. Being one of ICCWC's initial collaborative efforts in delivering technical assistance in support of law enforcement as related to wildlife trafficking, the seminar was attended by representatives from the 13 Tiger range states (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam) as well as representatives from all ICCWC partners.

- The Workshop on "Establishing a Network of Controlled Delivery Units for Forest and Wildlife Law Enforcement" in Shanghai, China, from 7 to 9 December 2011 brought together 50 participants from 18 African and Asian countries (officials from the police, Customs or judiciary). The workshop covered forest and wildlife crime and law enforcement in China, global wildlife and timber smuggling routes, wildlife and timber methods of detection, controlled delivery techniques (including financial aspects), prosecution, as well as group activities aimed at building a network of practitioners. A follow-up report will monitor participants' future collaboration and possible conduct of controlled delivery operations.

- The "Ivory and Rhinoceros Enforcement Task Force Meeting", held in Nairobi in May 2011 and attended by high-level law enforcement officers representing wildlife authorities, Customs, investigations, national parks, police and enforcement agencies from 12 countries, served to exchange law enforcement intelligence and to develop strategies for combating illegal trade in the two pachyderms.