On 20 July 2021, the World Customs Organization (WCO) announced that as part of its commitment to strengthen the CITES enforcement capacities of the WCO’s members, the Environment Programme (EP) and the WCO INAMA Project had assessed the capacity of 11 Customs administrations in sub-Saharan African, Asian and South American countries to mitigate Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) in the context of a series of five half-day online diagnostic missions.
Under the auspices of the WCO INAMA Project, funded by the Department of State of the United States, officers from the Customs administrations of Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Guyana, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Namibia, Peru, and Uganda attended the online events, specifically focusing on the IWT aspects of training, enforcement, legal, international and inter-agency cooperation, intelligence and risk management. The mission for the Nigeria Customs Service was conducted under the framework of the WCO EP.
Detailed reports with findings and recommendations are being shared with the administrations, which will represent the basis for future online and face-to-face engagements. This approach ensures that all interventions are tailored to the specific needs of each beneficiary administration, avoiding duplications and increasing the effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of the Programme’s/ Project’s delivery.
Accredited Customs Technical and Operational Advisers and recognised experts from Angola, Burkina Faso, France, Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Spain, Sri Lanka, Togo, and Zambia co-facilitated the events, providing valuable input and subject matter expertise.
Story by: Riaan de Lange