This page is no longer updated. Partners have agreed that CAWT has achieved its aims and should now be disbanded to allow members to invest in other initiatives to combat wildlife trafficking.

Partners in the Global Fight Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

CAWT partners seek to address the growing threats to wildlife from poaching and illegal trade, working individually and jointly toward achieving the Coalition's goals, with each partner acting where it can contribute most effectively. The CAWT organisation is not directly involved in any enforcement activities.

The Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT) aims to focus public and political attention and resources on ending the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products

CAWT was established in 2005 by a group of governments, non-government organisations, and industry representatives to combat illicit wildlife trafficking by stimulating political will, improving law enforcement, and reducing consumer demand. In the ten years since, international attention has been increasingly focused on solving the problem of illicit wildlife trafficking. International commitment to measures to address wildlife trafficking is now at unprecedented levels and is demonstrated through a number of high profile international agreements including the London Declaration on the Illegal Wildlife Trade and subsequent Kasane and Hanoi statements, and the United Nations General Assembly Resolutions on Tackling the Illicit Trafficking in Wildlife.

CAWT is leveraging the combined strengths of government and nongovernmental partners to:

  • Improve Wildlife Law Enforcement by expanding enforcement training and information sharing and strengthening regional cooperative networks.
  • Reduce consumer demand for illegally traded wildlife by raising awareness of the impacts of illegal wildlife trade on biodiversity and the environment, livelihoods, and human health; its links to organized crime; and the availability of sustainable alternatives.
  • Catalyse high-level political will to fight wildlife trafficking by broadening support at the highest political levels for actions to combat the illegal trade in wildlife.

 

The Coalition complements and reinforces existing national, regional and international efforts, including the work of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which monitors and regulates international trade in endangered and threatened species and their derivatives.


CAWT members pursue a 'shared approach' whereby they:

  • Work individually and jointly toward achieving the Coalition's goals, with each Partner acting where it can contribute most effectively
  • Support the effective implementation and enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and avoid duplication of efforts
  • Educate consumers about alternative, sustainable choices
  • Improve wildlife legislation and raise awareness of wildlife laws and the penalties for violating them
  • Exchange information and expertise on best practices and lessons learned
  • Inform Partners of projects and activities undertaken in support of the Coalition's shared mission and goals
  • Facilitate contacts and dialogue among partners and other public and private entities active in combating wildlife trafficking
  • Communicate and promote the Coalition's activities to others, in consultation with Partners
  • Recognize outstanding achievement in fighting wildlife trafficking.

 
Download a one-page PDF summary (430 KB) outlining the goals of CAWT

Review:

At a meeting of CAWT members in the margins of the in the margins of the 66th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Standing Committee (11-15 January 2016, Geneva, Switzerland), it was noted that concerns about wildlife trafficking and international commitment to address it have grown significantly in the ten years of CAWT’s existence.

Attendees discussed the significant achievements of the Coalition in the ten years since its inception, and concluded that CAWT has achieved much of its original aims. Illicit wildlife trafficking is now a focus issue for a diverse and expanded range of fora and organisations committed to addressing wildlife crime and this increased focus has lead to some major political commitments in recent years.

In light of this, it was generally agreed that CAWT has reached the natural end of its relevance and that the coalition should be disbanded to allow members to invest time and resources in other initiatives to combat illicit wildlife trafficking.