Feature Story

Disrupting maritime trafficking of wildlife through African seaports

September 11, 2020

Elephants marching
Photo: Tamara Tschentscher/UNDP

Due to the large volume of goods involved, coupled with a relatively minimal risk of detection and arrest, seaports are key transit gateways for illegal wildlife products. According to the Elephant Trade Information System, up to 72% of ivory is trafficked by sea.

In May 2018, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility initiated the Reducing Maritime Trafficking of Wildlife between Africa and Asia project. Spanning 36 months, this $2 million initiative is reducing maritime trafficking of wildlife between Africa and Asia by strengthening wildlife law enforcement at ports and increasing co-operation between ports and other maritime stakeholders.

This initiative is working on improving interception capacity and stopping the illegal wildlife trade (IWT) at this point of high impact.

The project is part of the GEF-financed, World Bank-led Global Wildlife Program (GWP), which brings together 29 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America in coordinated efforts to combat wildlife poaching, trafficking, and demand.