WWF UK is at the heart of global efforts to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges, including combating poaching and illegal wildlife trade. This work is carried out by many of the 100-plus WWF offices worldwide, working closely with TRAFFIC – a joint programme of WWF and IUCN focused on wildlife trade.
WWF has a focus on improving policy relating to illegal wildlife trade, working through CITES, as well as other bodies and organisations addressing the environment, economics and foreign policy. Most recently, WWF and TRAFFIC gained ground from their joint Illegal Wildlife Trade Campaign, raising recognition of the illegal wildlife trade as a serious crime, and a wider political issue, rather than just an environmental concern.
Anti-poaching work focuses on strengthening in-the-field protection by building on-the-ground capacity and motivation for anti-poaching activities within local communities, law enforcement agencies and governments. For example, WWF is working alongside the Kenyan Wildlife Service and ZSL, conducting a black rhino ear notching exercise in the Masai Mara Game Reserve to help identify individual rhinos, and microchips are being humanely inserted into the rhinos’ horns to help combat poaching.
WWF and TRAFFIC are also promoting action to expose and suppress trafficking by enabling greater law enforcement along key trade routes; strengthening governance mechanisms; enhancing collaboration between agencies, national governments and the private sector; and establishing strategic monitoring information and decision support systems.
Within destination countries, WWF is working to reduce consumer demand for illegal and unsustainable wildlife parts, products and derivatives, using evidence-led campaigns to change user behaviours.