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Illegal Wildlife Trade Prevention Training in Morocco

01 May 2017 | International Fund for Animal Welfare News Release

A specialized training of enforcement authorities in the prevention of wildlife trafficking is being carried out from April 24th to 28th by the High Commissioner for Waters and Forests and the Fight against Desertification of Morocco and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in Tangiers, Kingdom of Morocco.

As a prominent gateway in North Africa, the Kingdom of Morocco serves an important strategic and commercial role in efforts to combat wildlife trafficking from Africa to Europe. Morocco is also home to the endangered Barbary macaques, an endemic primate that have been victims of the exotic pet trade to Europe. These unique primates are protected in Morocco and commercial trade is now banned by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.

IFAW will conduct practical training and exercises focusing on a range of Identification tools such as species ID, exercise examinations, and seizures at the border – an exercise on the examination of goods. The training will also address issues ranging from CITES permits and appendices, national legislation, and information about national procedures including permit processing, handling of confiscated specimens, common species in trade between North Africa and Europe, and the challenges of combating wildlife trafficking in the region.

Forty participants are participating to this training, including representatives from Moroccan departments of Customs, Wildlife and Forestry, veterinary authorities and other authorities impacted by the wildlife trade.

In introduction to the workshop, the Secretary General of the High Commissioner for Waters and Forests and the Fight against Desertification, Mr. Abderrahim Houmy, shed light on the significance of CITES due to the high level of wildlife trafficking and acknowledged the tireless contribution of IFAW to protect and save animals.

IFAW President and CEO Azzedine Downes praised the spirit of the program saying: “This collaboration between the High Commissioner for Waters and Forests and the Fight against Desertification of Morocco and IFAW comes with a significance importance, as wildlife crime has become a serious threat to the security, economy, natural resources and cultural heritage of many countries and regions. We have long recognized the complexities of wildlife trade, and in response, we have worked hard to nurture and support inter-agency cooperation networks as a way to address them.”

Dr. Elsayed Mohamed, Regional Director of IFAW Middle East and North Africa declared “The training will provide wildlife enforcement authorities with the knowledge and skills to detect and seize illegal wildlife products and smuggled animals before they cross borders. It will also promote much-needed inter-agency wildlife law enforcement communications through existing mechanisms.”

This training is part of “Born to be Wild,” a program ensuring the sustainable protection of the endangered Barbary macaques. The program is initiated by AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection and is executed together with IFAW.


Morocco is highly regarded worldwide for its stunning natural habitats and wildlife diversity, as it holds 162 species listed in CITES appendices.



Dr. Elsayed Mohamed, Dr. Elsayed Mohamed, Regional Director Middle East and North Africa; Email:; Tel: +971 50 787 0875

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, the International Foundation for Animal Welfare saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats.

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