Combating Wildlife Crime in the Namibia and Kavango Zambezi Area Project

The Combating Wildlife Crime in Namibia and Kavango Zambezi Area Project, hereafter referred to as the CWCP, seeks to counter growing threats from transnational wildlife crime to globally important populations of rhino and elephant found in northwest Namibia and project sites in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA).

CWCP is a multi-country, multi-partner initiative being implemented by a Consortium of 14 organisations, with WWF in Namibia providing the lead management and co-ordination role. The project is fostering improved knowledge on wildlife crime dynamics and impacts, and enhanced sharing of related information and data among law enforcement agencies, civil society, and the private sector within and among countries.

Mr A. Pires, TRAFFIC's CWC Project Manager

The KAZA CWCP is a critical step towards fighting wildlife crime in a region where the transboundary movement of animals, especially elephants, are at high risk

Mr A. Pires, TRAFFIC's CWC Project Manager

where we're working

The KAZA transfrontier boundary is an important area for many migratory species, especially elephants, threatened by poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

The collective impact of this project will be an increase of rhino populations in Namibia and promotion of cross-border movement of species, together with stabilised elephant populations in the KAZA region.

The five-country Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area


spotlight for priority wildlife

African rhinos and elephants are the focal species for this project. Find out more about the issues they from illegal trade below.

what we're doing and why

community engagement and stewardship

Working with local communities to encourage active participation in wildlife management is an integral focus of the project.

We're helping to develop incentives to ensure that those living in the KAZA region benefit from conservation efforts and wildlife stewardship.

Collecting elephant meat shot on safari in Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe © Russell Douglas Taylor / WWF


fighting poaching

We're working to improve the effectiveness of anti-poaching efforts along the enforcement chain and strengthen disincentives for involvement in illicit activities.

The end result will be to increase the anti-poaching, collaboration, and survelillance capacity between local communities, the private sector and local law enforcement.

Black Rhino Diceros bicornis under 24 hour armed guard in Zimbabwe © Martin Harvey / WWF


investigations and prosecutions strengthened

Ensuring that those involved in poaching and wildlife trafficking are prosecuted once caught is one of the most powerful deterrents to involvement in wildlife crime.

We're increasing awareness of wildlife legislation among communities, helping to strengthen penalties and sentences for wildlife criminals, and making investigations and prosecutions more effective throughout KAZA countries.

Customs officer holding a seized rhino horn © / Mark Cawardine


information sharing

Information is power, and facilitating the rapid and collaborative exchange of information related to wildlife seizures, enforcement actions, and poaching helps contribute to every other objective under this project.

We're helping to improve and build systems that enable law enforcement, civil society, and the private sector share information related to wildlife to help ensure a collaborative response to poaching and trafficking.

Seized elephant tusks en route to China © James Morgan / WWF


understanding wildlife trafficking

Responses to wildlife crime and wildlife trafficking are only ever as effective as our understanding of the dynamics at play.

Improving regional, national, and international responses to poaching and wildlife crime requires a strengthened understanding of evolving illegal trade flows, and the motivations behind poaching. We're engaging with local communities and agencies to improve understanding of illegal wildlife trade and wildlife crime in the region.

Rhino horn trafficking routes from Africa to Asia 2016–2017


TRAFFIC's main project focus

Alongside ongoing activities such as trade monitoring, convening workshops, and supporting law enforcement, our specific roles within the project include to:

Strengthen investigative and prosecutorial capacity across the KAZA region if poachers and traffickers are to be identified, apprehended, prosecuted and, when found guilty, sentenced at levels commensurate with the crime committed.

Conducting needs assessments by parties of the criminal justice systems in each KAZA country is imperative as this will pave the way forward for running workshops to satisfy those needs and to creating awareness on wildlife crime.

Work with stakeholders to explore and develop methodologies for gathering and analysing relevant information on illegal wildlife trade dynamics for each KAZA country.

This process will be used to identify information gaps with relevant government agencies and gaps in the research on illegal wildlife dynamics. From this, methodologies will be developed for disseminating results.

the consortium members

related news and reports

explore the latest news and TRAFFIC publications related to wildlife crime and poaching in Southern Africa

reports related to WILDLIFE CRIME

Explore the latest publications, reports and papers from TRAFFIC related to the fight against wildlife crime in Southern Africa.

Visit our resource library for the full TRAFFIC publication archive.

thank you




The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is responsible for the majority of overseas development assistance from the United States Government and works to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing security and prosperity for America and the world.