Kenyan law enforcers have resolved to foster inter-agency collaboration and cooperation to help combat wildlife crime in Kenya.
The law enforcers who attended a five-day training organized by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in the lakeside town of Naivasha agreed to increase their capacity and expertise in fighting wildlife crime.
James Isiche, regional director for IFAW East Africa, said given the prevailing levels of wildlife crime globally, there is a need to improve the capacity for collaboration amongst law enforcement agencies through information sharing.
“Fighting wildlife crime requires concerted efforts involving pooling financial, human and information resources. We must share intelligence and collaborate to effectively fight the ever-increasing sophistication in wildlife crime,” James said in a speech read on his behalf by Steve Njumbi, head of programs IFAW East Africa.
The meeting which ended on Thursday evening was hosted by IFAW in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
The 18 participants are officers stationed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) from KWS, Kenya Revenue Authority’s (KRA) customs department, Kenya Police Service, Kenya Aviation Authority (KAA) and the Directorate of Immigration.
The participants were trained in the identification and detection of wildlife species and trophies, identification of wildlife smuggling and concealment techniques, exhibit handling and management and the wildlife trade status of species under Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora(CITES).
According to IFAW, wildlife trafficking ranks in the top most lucrative transnational organized crimes, behind drug trafficking, money laundering and human trafficking, valued at billions of U.S. dollars annually.
Isiche said many species of animals are illegally poached to supply the global demand for luxury trinkets and possession of live wildlife as pets.
“This alarming situation calls for an inter-agency collaboration which has been well demonstrated through this training. To stem wildlife trafficking, this collaboration needs to extend beyond this week and continue even after the participants return to their workstation,” he added. Enditem