to help bring
Wildlife officials in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are to receive specialist training for carrying out wildlife
forensic investigations thanks to generous support of £400,000 over two years from players of People’s
As many as 20,000 elephants are poached each year in Africa for their ivory tusks, which organised
criminal networks smuggle to Asia where they are processed into jewellery and other decorative items.
The rotting carcasses from poaching activities are crime scenes, but wildlife officials in Africa often lack the
specialist equipment, skills and training to gather and analyse evidence that can be used in court to con-vict
However, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, staff from Edinburgh-based TRACE and
Cambridge-based TRAFFIC, will be helping train and pass on relevant skills for crime scene investigation
and DNA forensic analysis where poaching and other wildlife crimes have taken place.
The evidence gathered will be used to identify and track down those involved in committing crime and will
be used in court to secure convictions.
“All too often, the criminals poaching Africa’s wildlife are walking free because it is proving impossible to
bring them to book successfully,” said Rob Ogden, co-Director of TRACE.
“But now, thanks to the fantastic support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, wildlife officers in the
region will have the means to gather the evidence that will help put these criminals where they belong—
TRACE and TRAFFIC will be working closely alongside a number of national and international partners to
ensure the three countries of Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe in southern Africa are equipped with the
necessary skills to gather, process and present forensic evidence on wildlife crime.
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We are pleased that funding from
players of People’s Postcode Lottery will be helping end the activities of criminals decimating Africa’s
wildlife. This is a really worthwhile endeavour and we hope players’ support will have a big impact on the
Worldwide, illegal wildlife trade is recognised as a large, growing and long-term threat to many species.
Nowhere more so than in Africa, where some of the continent’s iconic mammals, including rhinos and
elephants, are being killed in horrific numbers for their horns and tusks. Once these parts have been
hacked off, they are smuggled to Asia by organised criminal syndicates.
The impact of poaching operations can be severe on communities, wildlife populations and habitats, while
the associated criminalisation of society can have profound impacts on local and even national security
and the rule of law.