Posted in News

WITA brings expertise on law enforcement and local community engagement to the Alliance

The Wildlife Investigators Training Alliance (WITA) has joined the Nature Crime Alliance to bolster efforts to support actors on the frontline of wildlife crime.  

Headquartered in the US, WITA fights transnational wildlife crime across sub-Saharan Africa and Central and South America through training programmes, investigation support, and equipment donations. According to its website, WITA has trained more than 2,500 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges since 2018 in best practices for the prevention, detection, deterrence, investigation, prosecution and adjudication of transnational wildlife crimes.

Steph Durno Karns, Executive Director of WITA, said: “Collaboration between civil society organisations and governments is necessary in the fight to dismantle transnational criminal networks that seek to exploit the world’s natural resources. WITA is honoured to join the Nature Crime Alliance and supports its mission.

“WITA is comprised of lifelong wildlife law enforcement professionals who are passionate about supporting their dedicated brothers and sisters who work tirelessly to protect our wildlife, fisheries, and forests for generations to come.”   

Through the Nature Crime Alliance, WITA will engage with aligned organisations to share information and best practice and develop new collaborations. Drawing on their extensive work with rangers, WITA can share insights on successful conservation strategies and the importance of fostering positive relationships between law enforcement and local communities.

The need for greater collaboration in this area is consistently raised in international fora, according to Yulia Stange, Director of the Nature Crime Alliance. “We repeatedly hear from stakeholders across our network that there is a need for stronger cooperation with, and support for, law enforcement, rangers, investigators, prosecutors, and judges,” Yulia said.

“WITA has shown the value in building positive relationships and offering targeted trainings to bolster the capacity of those who are risking their lives to protect our precious wildlife and natural resources. We are grateful to have WITA in the Alliance and look forward to the collaborations to come.”

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