ICCWC Activities Around the World

10 years, 10 achievements

23 November 2020 marked ten years since the establishment ICCWC. The theme “10 years, 10 achievements” provides a snapshot of a decade of support to Parties through various national, regional and global initiatives. More on this initiative here.


Since the launch of ICCWC in 2010, a diverse range of activities have been conducted and initiatives supported by the Consortium in many countries and regions across the world, as shown on the map below.   

Map disclaimer - The designations employed and the presentation of the material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Every effort is made to ensure this map is free of errors but there is no warrant the map or its features are either spatially or temporally accurate or fit for a particular use. This map is provided without any warranty of any kind whatsoever, either express or implied.

Implementation of the ICCWC Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit and Indicator Framework for Wildlife and Forest Crime

Implementation of the ICCWC Toolkit has been completed in more than 12 countries to date, and implementation is at different stages across an additional 18 countries. The ICCWC Indicator Framework compliments the Toolkit and since 2018 it has been jointly implemented with the Toolkit. Implementation of the Indicator Framework has to date been completed in five countries. For an overview of the countries where the ICCWC Toolkit and ICCWC Indicator Framework have been implemented, or where implementation is ongoing, please click here.   

Targeted Law Enforcement Support - A snapshot from the implementation of the ICCWC Strategic Programme


In 2020, ICCWC adapted to COVID-19 restrictions and continued to provide targeted law enforcement support, working along the entire criminal justice chain to help governments deter, detect, detain and dismantle criminal networks involved in wildlife crime. With in-person meetings limited and new protection protocols in place, ICCWC shifted some of its activities online to provide continued support to Member States. Operation Thunder 2020 was coordinated virtually, via secured communication and reporting channels. Despite the global sanitary situation and existing restrictions, the law enforcement community demonstrated a sound commitment to Thunder 2020, with outcomes and participation comparable to previous years. ICCWC also helped Member States assess and address emerging trends and challenges in wildlife crime brought on by the pandemic. It undertook important wildlife crime research, developing guides and training modules in response to Member States needs in the fight against wildlife crime. 

In 2019, ICCWC continued to expand its activities, including through its global network of regional and country offices, to support the efforts of frontline officers from national agencies responsible for wildlife law enforcement. Working directly for and with these authorities, ICCWC partners supported them by building long-term capacity and providing the tools, services and technical support required to effectively respond to wildlife crime. As a direct result of ICCWCs work, national authorities are in a strengthened position to increasingly respond to wildlife crime. The following is a snapshot of those activities.

Cooperation across and between law enforcement authorities around the globe was strengthened and key skills and knowledge were built, including through hands on real time support during global enforcement operations, the promotion of exchange of information, and engagement with wildlife enforcement networks. Regional challenges and responses to wildlife crime were explored at INTERPOLs first Annual Meeting on Wildlife Trafficking in Central and West Africa (Cameroon), identifying regional trends, and laying the foundation for increasing operational activities in the region.

Capacity building initiatives were successfully continued across Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, enhancing the skills and knowledge of front-line wildlife crime investigators to respond to wildlife crime as serious organized crime. Knowledge was built concerning advanced investigation techniques targeting wildlife crime syndicates, covering matters such as controlled deliveries, financial investigations and covert surveillance operations.

ICCWC also provided support to national authorities in response to large-scale ivory and pangolin scales seizures, with specialist support teams deployed to Ha Noi, Vietnam, working in coordination with customs and police, and supported by the INTERPOL National Central Bureau, to identify suspects, and profile additional incoming shipments, with further interceptions. In Kampala, Uganda, a support team, working with national authorities, assisted in the seizure of over 750 pieces of ivory and 400 kilograms of pangolin scales.  

Across 2018 and 2017, ICCWC focused closely on cooperation, collaboration and communication, and the criticality of enhancing a cohesive joint response to the transcontinental element of wildlife crime. 

Law enforcement authorities across Africa and Asia strongly benefited from a series of workshops, strengthening key skills and know-how on the detection, interception, investigation and prosecution of wildlife crime through the development and use of risk indicators, the promotion of exchange of information, and financial investigation best practices. The Africa-Asia Wildlife Inter-Regional Enforcement (WIRE) Meeting (Kenya); the meeting of representatives of Parties involved in the development and implementation of National Ivory Action Plans (NIAPs) (Mozambique), and the Regional Investigative and Analytical Case Management (RIACM) meeting for NIAP Parties, collectively enhanced the position of law enforcement authorities to more effectively respond jointly in a cohesive manner to wildlife crime. 

Taskforces driven by ICCWC also played a critical role in building knowledge across species specific wildlife crime areas, as well as enhancing information and intelligence sharing, strengthening frontline cooperation and coordination, such as the CITES Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles Task Force (Singapore), which developed strategies to strengthen CITES implementation and law enforcement responses to combat illegal trade in tortoises and freshwater turtles and their parts and derivatives.

Specialized anti-money laundering training was delivered across Cameroon, Côte d’ Ivoire; Kenya, Laos PDR, Madagascar; the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The training was designed to specifically help investigators, prosecutors, judges, and others in the criminal justice system overcome the investigative, legal and procedural challenges related to wildlife crime and money laundering cases.






Wildlife Enforcement Networks

ICCWC is also supporting the strengthening of wildlife enforcement networks established at regional and sub-regional levels to support the national agencies responsible for wildlife law enforcement in addressing wildlife crime more effectively, by facilitating increased collaboration and coordination. The 3rd Global meeting of Wildlife Enforcement Networks was convened alongside the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in Geneva, Switzerland (August 2019). This followed the 2nd global meeting of the Wildlife Enforcement Networks which was held alongside the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in Johannesburg, South Africa (September 2016). The 1st global meeting of Wildlife Enforcement Networks was held alongside the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in Bangkok, Thailand (March 2013). 

In response to one of the outcomes agreed at the 2nd Global meeting of the Wildlife Enforcement Networks, ICCWC developed Guidelines for Wildlife Enforcement Networks (WENS), available in English and Spanish.  These Guidelines outline the key considerations in the development of a new WEN, and also provide a self-assessment tool for use by existing WENs to assist them in evaluating their level of maturity and/or operational performance and identify areas that could be further strengthened. 

Law enforcement operations to combat wildlife crime

ICCWC has coordinated a number of regional and global operations such as OPERATION THUNDER (2021), THUNDER (2020), THUNDERBALL (2019), THUNDERSTORM (2018),  THUNDERBIRD (2017), INFRA TERRA (2014), and PAWS (2014). ICCWC also supported network-led operations such as COBRA II (2014) and COBRA III (2015). ICCWC will continue to support the Thunder series of operations through the ICCWC Strategic Programme. 

ENF/Operation Thunder GIF


Operation Thunderstorm (2018)

          Month-long trans-continental operation hit wildlife criminals hard       

 This video was produced by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Success stories on the work of ICCWC (click to read the full story) :

Success story #1 - Building a case in Mozambique Success story #2 - Thunder 21 Success story # - AML Success story #4 - WIRE
Success story #1 : Building a case against wildlife crime in Mozambique Success story #2 : Cooperating across borders to fight wildlife crime in Latin America Success story #3 : Money laundering and wildlife crime. Assessing the risk in Côte d'Ivoire Success story #4 : Cooperating across borders to tackle environmental crime in Africa and Asia


Reports on the work of ICCWC

A more detailed overview of the ICCWC activities conducted to date can be found in the following CITES reports: