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Wildlife Crime Initiative
We are in the midst of a global poaching crisis that threatens decades of conservation successes as well as the survival of many species.

Increasingly involving large-scale, transnational organised crime, the current unprecedented spike in illegal wildlife trade poses a growing threat not only to wildlife but also to security, rule of law, sustainable development, and the well being of local communities.

Launched in 2014, the Wildlife Crime Initiative (WCI) is a long-term, collaborative initiative between WWF and TRAFFIC, which builds on the momentum and high-level political will generated by the joint Illegal Wildlife Trade Campaign in 2012-13.

By strategically using each organisation’s specific skills and resources, the initiative plays a key role in urgent global efforts to address the poaching crisis by expanding the scope and impact of TRAFFIC's and WWF’s work on wildlife crime.

GOAL: By 2024, the impact of wildlife crime (poaching, trafficking and demand for illegal products) on conservation targets will be halved

Focus all along the trafficking chain

 rel= © Jonathan Caramanus / Green Renaissance / WWF-UK

The WCI focuses on all points along the illegal wildlife trade chain (poaching, trafficking and consumption) as well as advocating for the adoption and implementation of more effective national and international policies.
The WCI fosters innovative approaches at local, national and global levels – from promoting higher enforcement standards in some countries, to designing  behavioural change strategies in states where demand is high, to ‘following the money’.

Critically, the WCI also focuses on building influential relationships, and working in concert, with a wide and growing number of external partners, including governments, UN agencies, other NGOs and the private sector.
The WCI is designed to catalyse systemic change and support governments, businesses and consumers to take the steps necessary to reduce poaching, trafficking and the global demand for illegal products.

Wildlife crime is a major barrier to sustainable development. It undermines the rule of law, threatens peace and security, is facilitated by corruption, aggravated by human rights abuses and fuelled by demand. 

Four core pillars

 rel= © Juozas Cernius / WWF-UK

  • Stop the Poaching: increasing wildlife stewardship e.g. by local communities and strengthening field protection;
  • Stop the Trafficking: promoting action to expose and suppress trafficking;
  • Stop the Buying: encouraging initiatives to reduce consumer demand;
  • International Policy: mobilising policy response at the international level to ensure that an enabling environment is created to facilitate and sustain the fight against wildlife crime.
By pursuing this cohesive and collaborative approach, WWF and TRAFFIC have significantly enhanced their collective contribution towards global efforts to curtail the poaching and illegal wildlife trade crisis.

With governments, the private sector and civil society organisations all working together, today’s poaching crisis can be contained and a deeper social and environmental crisis averted.
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TRAFFIC is a joint programme of WWF and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) that monitors the global wildlife trade. TRAFFIC also works in close co-operation with CITES.

CITES logo
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is an international agreement between governments, that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 33,000 species of animals and plants.