COMBATING ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE PROGRAMME
The Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) is one of the biggest illegal trades in the world and is worth over £15 billion annually. It is often perpetuated by organised criminal organisations which are also involved in the illegal trade of drugs, arms, and even people. Unfortunately, Nigeria has become one of the epicentres for IWT in Africa, partly due to insufficient legislation but also because of weak government enforcement capacity and a lack of training, equipment, and prevention incentives. This means illegal criminal networks across West and Central Africa use Nigeria as a transit point from which to export wildlife products such as ivory, pangolin scales, and rosewood to the rest of the world.
Recognizing the issues facing Nigeria, ANI began a programme to reduce the amount of illegal wildlife products traded in the country and raise the awareness of Nigerians to the damaging industry. We have a strategic partnership with the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) to engage the Nigerian Government and reform national policy to tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade.
LEGISLATION AND POLICY
ANI is working to draft new endangered species legislation for Nigeria at the request of the Federal Ministry of Environment. Working with the EIA and Wild Africa Fund, we successfully engaged Senator Sam Onuigbo to sponsor the new bill which was introduced 2022. We are also supporting the creation of a new National Parks Bill and the revision of wildlife legislation for Taraba, Adamawa, and Edo States.
ANI aims to build the capacity of Nigerian institutions to prevent wildlife crime through education and training. In partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the EIA, ANI developed a Wildlife Crime Rapid Reference Guide and Charging Standards for Prosecutors, and has facilitated capacity-building courses attended by officials from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Nigeria Customs Service and the Federal Ministry of Justice. ANI also works with state and local governments to further prevent wildlife crimes in association with our other projects.