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26 November 2012

INTERPOL supports wildlife crime investigations and operations in western Africa

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire – Developing the skills of law enforcement officers to more effectively prevent and investigate wildlife crime was the focus of an INTERPOL training course in collaboration with Environment Canada and French Gendarmerie Nationale, funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

A total of 20 wildlife police officers from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Liberia and Senegal, in addition to a representative from the Lusaka Agreement Task Force, took part in the six-day (29 October – 3 November) course at the INTERPOL Regional Bureau in Abidjan.

Under the umbrella of INTERPOL’s Project WISDOM, which supports and enhances the governance and law enforcement capacity for the conservation of elephants and rhinoceros, participants were trained in a range of skills needed to conduct strategic wildlife law enforcement inspections based on best practices and lessons learned in the field.

The main goal of the training was to ensure the officers were able to return to their countries with the knowledge and skills required to plan for a coordinated transnational operation in the upcoming months and, equally as important, to enable the officers to interact directly and develop personal contacts with a view to enhanced regional cooperation.