INTERPOL, World Bank Launch Project Predator
28 November 2011: INTERPOL, the World Bank and partners launched Project Predator, a worldwide enforcement initiative to protect tigers in the wild. The Project will call for countries to establish National Tiger Crime Task Forces, which it hopes will encourage the use of modern, intelligence-led enforcement practices for tiger conservation.
Project Predator was launched at INTERPOL's 80th General Assembly, held from 31 October-3 November 2011, in Hanoi, Viet Nam, by the INTERPOL Environmental Crime Programme. It will work with the 13 tiger-range countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, Nepal, Thailand, Viet Nam and the Russian Federation.
Project Predator's goals are to organize collaborative, high-level international efforts to improve political will, transform this will into departmental support, and train officers in the necessary skills. It will undertake capacity building, intelligence management, operational initiatives and advocacy. The Project is not limited to the protection of tigers, but extends to the protection of all Asian “big cats,” including leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards and Asiatic lions, which are are traded in the same manner as tiger parts.
Project Predator is a project of the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) of the World Bank, which brings together officials from the tiger range countries, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the World Bank, the Smithsonian Institution and INTERPOL. The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will provide support on enforcement-related issues in the GTI.
John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, expressed support for the Project, and highlighted the International Consortium to Combat Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) as critical to the implementation of CITES measures for protecting tigers, and to the success of Project Predator. ICCWC will complement Project Predator through a Heads of Police and Customs Seminar on Tiger Crime to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in February 2012. [INTERPOL Press Release] [CITES Press Release]