TACKLING ILLEGAL WILDLIFE CRIME - TOGETHER
Throughout 2018, The Zambezi Society has been working together with law enforcement authorities, the Matusadona Anti-Poaching Project (MAPP) and a number of conservation organisations to streamline the effectiveness of policing illegal wildlife crime in Zimbabwe.
The activities of the new Illegal Wildlife Crime Initiative reinforce the traditional, anti-poaching support provided by The Zambezi Society and its collaborating partners to ZimParks anti-poaching rangers on the ground in the Zambezi Valley.
The work involves assisting the authorities in intelligence-gathering,to act on information received, to set up operations, and to apprehend individuals trading in illegal wildlife products, then to follow up on the court processes once arrests have been made.
In previous years, many poaching crimes went unpunished because of loopholes in the system and lack of monitoring and follow-up in the court procedures. The Illegal Wildlife Crime initiative seeks to stem this by closing off identified loopholes, improving monitoring and providing post-arrest support for the law-enforcement authorities.
Our collaborative team continues to make improvements to the collection, collation and analysis of data.
The results in 2018 alone, prove that this work has been a game-changer:-
19 arrests for illegal possession of elephant ivory, of which 9 have been concluded and another five are in court before the end of 2018.
The Zambezi Society and its partners also play a supporting role with regards to the trade in live pangolin or pangolin products which often overlaps with the ivory trade.
A total of 15 sentences of 9 years and 2 sentences of 10 years for illegal wildlife crime (more to come before the end of 2018)
4 individuals arrested for illegal possession of cyanide.
A total of 133 individuals arrested for a variety of wildlife crimes, including the above, and more to follow.
More than 170 years in prison sentences so far and $9,100-worth of fines to date for 2018.
The effect of these measures has paid off. Since 2016, there has been a marked decrease in elephant poaching activity in the Zambezi Valley.
However, there is no room for complacency. Towards the end of 2018, there has been a spate of arrests and illegal wildlife crime activity and the Zambezi Society and its partners have been working flat out to ensure that they stay on top of the situation.
This vitally-important work costs a great deal.
If you can help us to cover costs, please consider making a donation. Click on the button below:-