Collaboration Across Borders: International Perspectives on Efforts to Combat Poaching and Trafficking of Wildlife

This project served as a deliverable of the Obama Administration’s National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking; it was also an example of the State Department’s growing foreign policy commitment to wildlife conservation. The study tour advanced U.S. efforts to work with regional bodies, national governments, academic institutions, and NGOs to stymie wildlife trafficking and strengthen fauna conservation. Through a varied array of site visits and meetings with public- and private-sector wildlife conservation representatives and game wardens from all levels of government, the project showcased the U.S. collaborative approach to fighting wildlife crime. The multi-regional project included participants from 11 countries, combining individuals from transit nations (e.g., Liberia, Hungary, Madagascar) and destination countries (e.g., Vietnam, Laos) with those from source locations (e.g., Kenya, Zimbabwe). The group was composed of park rangers, regional and national government officials, and wildlife conservation professionals from the NGO sector and academia. After exposure to relevant institutions in Washington, the group traveled to Augusta (Maine), Miami, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, and Seattle. The activities were varied and educational: learning about the protection of endangered species through DNA barcoding; two days with the Maine Warden Service; a comprehensive visit with Fish and Wildlife Service import-export control officers at Miami International Airport; and an extensive program in Yosemite which included several case studies, from black bear management to peregrine falcon-climber interaction. After the three-week experience, the visitors concluded that while our wildlife laws are too lenient, the United States is quite effective at raising awareness and coordinating anti-trafficking efforts.

Read more on The LEAD - Fight for fauna: Recognizing the proliferation of wildlife crime on Endangered Species Day


International Visitor Leadership Program, U.S. Department of State

Project summary

Collaboration Across Borders: International Perspectives on Efforts to Combat Poaching and Trafficking of Wildlife | May 2015
Number of Visitors: 12
Regions: Africa, East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Eurasia
Countries: Liberia, Hungary, Madagascar, Vietnam, Laos, Kenya, Zimbabwe
Impact Areas: Energy and the Environment, Governance and Transparency
Program Areas: Global Leadership
Partners: Public Sector