We are very excited to announce that the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) and the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS, www.kws.go.ke) have signed this week a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing a joint project that seeks to effectively contribute to the dismantling and disrupting of transnational organised wildlife crime networks operating in Kenya.
The MoU was signed on 7 March 2018, by Julius Kimani HSC; ndc (K), Acting Director General KWS and Olivia Swaak-Goldman, Executive Director of the WJC at the KWS’ headquarters in Nairobi.
The KWS is the premier conservation agency in Eastern Africa. Established by an Act of Parliament, the KWS is mandated to conserve and manage wildlife in Kenya and to enforce related laws and regulations. KWS manages about eight per cent of the total landmass of the country. This land contains 23 National Parks, 28 National Reserves and 4 National Sanctuaries, as well as 4 Marine National Parks and 6 Marine National Reserves at the coast.
One of the greatest challenges that the KWS faces is the risk posed by transnational wildlife crime networks that target the very species and systems that KWS is mandated to protect.
Wildlife crime is a transnational criminal business that provides criminals with very high revenues at a very low risk. This project aims at enhancing the capacity of the Kenyan wildlife operatives to proactively investigate transnational wildlife crime networks.
The WJC will provide training, equipment and mentoring for the KWS Investigations and Intelligence units based in Nairobi and at four other locations throughout Kenya over an initial two-year period.
The project will establish online systems and processes to manage intelligence, investigations and human sources. These systems will professionalise a paper-based model with a modern system that offers accountability, transparency and interoperability with domestic law enforcement agencies.
The WJC will also provide equipment, including suitable operational vehicles, laptops, crime scene investigation kits, surveillance equipment and Cellbrite phone analysis kits and it will also deliver advanced investigative technique and intelligence training to the KWS operatives.
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