connecting national enforcement agencies across Europe and Africa
Europe, Africa, Southern African Development Community, and Eastern Africa Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange's (EU-TWIX, AFRICA-TWIX, SADC-TWIX, Eastern Africa -TWIX) are online tools developed to facilitate information exchange and international cooperation between law enforcement agencies across Europe and Africa.
An ongoing challenge facing law enforcement is ensuring smooth and timely communication between nations when dealing with transnational wildlife smuggling networks. The TWIX platform is an online tool available to enforcement and management officials responsible for the implementation of international wildlife trade and CITES regulations, helping connect officials across borders and allowing them to rapidly share information and expertise.
enforcement and management officials in Europe and Africa are currently connected
Facilitating regular communication between international enforcement agencies has proven highly effective in helping to disrupt transnational smuggling networks.Vinciane Sacré, Senior Project Manager – EU-TWIX
There are currently four TWIX platforms in operation, EU-TWIX, AFRICA-TWIX, SADC-TWIX and Eastern Africa-TWIX.
Each platform consists of two main components: a centralised website which holds records on national, regional and international wildlife seizures, and a mailing list which allows enforcement officials to communicate, seek assistance and alert one another about relevant enforcement actions.
TWIX websites also contain various resources such as identification guides, training materials, legal texts and useful directories including listings for animal rescue centres for seized specimens.
National law enforcement agencies in the European Union (EU) play a crucial role in the efficient enforcement of EU Wildlife Trade Regulations through the efforts of customs, police and other inspection services in combating illegal wildlife trade into and from the EU, as well as within the single market of its 27 Member States.
The EU-TWIX was the first wildlife trade information exchange to be launched by TRAFFIC. Currently, officials from all EU Member States and twelve neighbouring countries participate in the platform, with close to 1,400 enforcement officials connected and a database which holds information on over 86,000 wildlife seizures. The EU is one of the largest and most diverse markets for wildlife and wildlife products, making co-operation between EU Member States and neighbouring countries essential in the fight against illegal wildlife trade.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the European Commission and the following governments for their generous support towards EU-TWIX.
an overview on EU-TWIX
The success of EU-TWIX largely depends on the regular input of information relating to new seizures and offences by national law enforcement agencies.
Given that the success of international efforts to detect and prosecute wildlife trafficking largely depends on the efficiency of these enforcement agencies, strengthening mechanisms by which enforcement officers can exchange information and advice is an invaluable means of combating wildlife crime. Find out more about our success and approaches in the EU-TWIX information brochure.
AFRICA-TWIX has already proven to be instrumental in facilitating international co-operation between law enforcement agencies, in certain cases helping to trigger investigations leading to the arrests and prosecutions of traffickers.
Central Africa, including the Congo basin forests which are considered to be the second lung of the earth, is a subregion in the African continent of major concern with regards to the sourcing of illegal wildlife products. Consumer demand for illicit wildlife products is driving the highest rate of poaching ever seen, making it essential to connect enforcement officials within the continent, and beyond. AFRICA-TWIX enables more than just connectivity, it provides officers with the latest resources and identification guides to assist them with wildlife enforcement cases. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the following organisations for their generous support towards AFRICA-TWIX.
an overview of AFRICA-TWIX
Countries participating are currently limited to Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) members, and include Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic, Chad, Rwanda and Burundi. Two other COMIFAC members namely Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe have recently expressed their willingness to join the AFRICA-TWIX initiative. The platform connects over 335 officials from wildlife administration, custom, police, justice, park management agencies and international and regional organisation like the World Custom Organisation (WCO) INTERPOL, CITES, UNODC are connected and the database currently holds more than 579 records concerning wildlife enforcement.
View or download our project leaflet to find out more about key successes, how to join and how it all works.
The mandate for the establishment of the Southern African Development Community–Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange (SADC-TWIX) emanates from the SADC Law Enforcement and Anti-Poaching (LEAP) Strategy that aims to reduce the level of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and enhancing law enforcement capacity in the SADC Region. The LEAP strategy explicitly identifies SADC-TWIX system as one of its key deliverables.
The implementation of SADC-TWIX receives financial support from the “Partnership against Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade (Ivory and Rhino-Horn) in Africa and Asia”, implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), and WWF France.
an overview of SADC-TWIX
The SADC-TWIX mailing list became operational on 21 May 2019 followed by the launch of its website in January 2020. To date, the platform holds over 160 records of CITES-listed species seized in the region, with this number set to grow exponentially as more countries contribute data. SADC-TWIX currently connects more than 500 officials from 13 SADC Member States including Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This platform was developed following the success of the EU-TWIX and AFRICA-TWIX models.
View or download our leaflet to find out more about key successes, how to join and how it all works.
The mandate for the establishment of the Eastern Africa-Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange (Eastern Africa-TWIX) emanates from the East Africa Timber Trade Stakeholders’ Forum in 2016 in line with the East African Community’s Strategy of 2017 to Combat Poaching and Illegal Trade and Trafficking of Wildlife and Wildlife Products.
The initiation and implementation of Eastern Africa-TWIX in Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda has been made possible through the support of the USAID-funded projects, Wildlife Trafficking, Response, Assessment, and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS) and Conserving Natural Capital and Enhancing Collaborative Management of Transboundary Resources in East Africa (CONNECT), together with WWF Finland through its support to the East Africa Wildlife Crime Hub of WWF and TRAFFIC.
an overview of Eastern Africa-TWIX
The Eastern Africa-TWIX mailing list has been operational since 27 August 2020 and currently connects more than 250 enforcement officials from Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania including Zanzibar, and Uganda. The website became operational in May 2021.
This platform was developed following the success of the EU-TWIX, AFRICA-TWIX, and SADC-TWIX models.
View or download our leaflet to find out more details, how to join and how it all works.
how to access the TWIX platforms
The TWIX platforms are available to use right now.
Eligible parties must be operating within the regions currently supported by one of the four operational TWIX platforms (Europe (EU-TWIX), Central Africa (AFRICA-TWIX), Southern Africa (SADC-TWIX) and Eastern Africa (Eastern Africa-TWIX) and fulfil one of the following roles: Customs, CITES Management Authorities, wildlife and forestry services, police, prosecutors, criminal justice departments or international organisations such as EUROPOL, INTERPOL or the World Customs Organization.