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Wildlife Crime Initiative
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.

Nearly 10 years ago, WWF and TRAFFIC launched a joint campaign to make illegal wildlife trade a higher priority on the international policy agenda. Today, our partnership remains strong, comprising a whole-of-trade-chain approach to stop the poaching, trafficking and buying of endangered wildlife, and advocating for stronger international policies and government responses. 

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


A downloadable PDF version is available below under the publications section. 

Focus all along the trafficking chain

Doreen Adongo, a ranger with the Kenya Wildlife Service at the Nairobi National Park. 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.
Four core pillars

A Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) ranger records details of a container during a training session for ... 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.
28 May 2024

IMO has adopted new measures for the prevention and suppression of wildlife smuggling in maritime shipping, including updated guidelines and a new, ...

10 Nov 2023

The outcomes were more positive than otherwise, especially with regard to tigers and other Asian big cats, precious timbers from Madagascar and West ...

06 Nov 2023

WWF is urging for strong decisions from the CITES Standing Committee which meets in Geneva this week.

16 Jun 2023

Understanding the hawksbill population status, distribution and connectivity between countries is essential for effective species management.

25 May 2023

Alarming rates of wildlife trafficking have been discovered in the Sulu-Celebes Sea within Southeast Asia, amounting to over 120,000 tonnes of ...