A training workshop to enhance the expertise of law enforcement officers to tackle wildlife trafficking began on Monday in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
Hosted by the Uganda Revenue Authority in partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the workshop aims to empower officers from customs departments, wildlife law enforcement and wildlife management authorities with the necessary skills to deter wildlife trafficking.
Participants are drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, South Sudan and Sudan.
The training is part of a larger strategic framework to strengthen the law enforcement response to combat wildlife crime at the regional level by improving cooperation among African countries’ law enforcement authorities.
The work is being carried out under a continent-wide program called ARREST (Africa’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking) and implemented through a partnership between IFAW, African Wildlife Foundation, and Freeland Foundation with support from the US Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
This and other training opportunities under the ARREST program will ensure law enforcement officials from the Horn of Africa, Central, and East Africa are better equipped to combat wildlife trafficking and reporting of wildlife crimes.
Elephant ivory, rhino horn, reptile skins and leopard skins are amongst the most illegally traded wildlife products in the region.
“We at IFAW have long recognized the intricacies of wildlife trafficking and have in response strived to nurture and support transnational and multiagency networks as a means of countermanding this iniquity,” said Azzedine Downes, IFAW’ President and CEO in a statement issued in Nairobi.