The wildlife crime initiative will focus its anti-poaching work on strengthening field protection as well as enhancing community stewardship of wildlife.
The WCI will bolster the first line of defence by helping to develop a zero-poaching toolkit with a common set of tools and standards that can be adapted to suit local conditions. And by encouraging governments to adopt and implement it.
At the heart of this anti-poaching toolkit will be ways to professionalize the global ranger force, ensuring that rangers in priority places have the equipment, training, support and motivation they need to effectively patrol their parks and protect their wildlife from poachers.
But rangers alone cannot keep the poachers at bay.
They need the eyes and ears and firm backing of local communities, which is why the initiative will also advocate for enhanced community management of natural resources – and for the equitable distribution of benefits.
This will boost sustainable development and give communities a real stake in conserving their wildlife.
Together, professionalised rangers and committed communities will force poachers to take greater risks to supply the illegal wildlife market.