In October 2014 Lilongwe Wildlife Trust assisted with Malawi’s Illegal Wildlife Trade at the request of the Government’s Department of National Parks & Wildlife. The review identified Malawi as a major trafficking route for illegal wildlife products, and the need for more support for improving capacity of law enforcement agencies to combat wildlife crime. It is the recommendations from the review that led to our anti-trafficking initiatives below.
Reactive Law Enforcement
In April 2016, LWT, in partnership with IFAW, secured a DEFRA IWT Challenge Fund Grant to help the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) build specialist wildlife crime enforcement capacity in Malawi. LWT will help create a reactive Wildlife Crime Investigation Unit and a series of protected area Community Enforcement Networks that will be managed by DNPW. These new law enforcement entities will help Malawi combat serious wildlife crime and help incentivise local communities to promote wildlife conservation. The tactical response unit will included officers seconded from the Malawi Police Service and Malawi Revenue Authority and is the first of its kind in Malawi.
Proactive Law Enforcement
We provide support to law enforcement agencies that are working to combat wildlife crime. We also partner with other organisations in the wider region who have similar objectives and together we are working to eradicate these serious transnational crimes. Please contact us for more information.
Court Monitoring Project
Despite the discovery of Malawi’s involvement as a major transit route for illegal wildlife commodities such as ivory, rhino horn, pangolin and turtles, detection rates in country are notoriously low. Detection dogs at Malawi’s main exit ports will help to increase interception rates for illegal wildlife products destined for export.
National Parks & Wildlife Act
LWT sits on the taskforce for this legislative review. Strengthening penalties and legal definitions will serve as a deterrent to would-be wildlife criminals and helps law enforcers treat wildlife trafficking as a serious crime.
Wildlife Crime Risk Management
Commencing in 2016, LWT, in partnership with C4Ads are supporting the Malawi Revenue Authority by helping them to build wildlife crime indicators into their existing customs risk management systems that will help customs better predict and deter wildlife trafficking in Malawi.