Border Point Project
From ivory to rhino horn, and from leopard skins to the demand from Arabian Gulf states for live cheetah cubs as ‘exotic pets’, this wildlife trafficking robs communities of their cultural heritage and risks local extermination of species. Determined to combat this terrible wild animal smuggling, strengthen the rule of law and shut down illegal trade routes, international charity the Born Free Foundation has established the innovative new Border Point Project with their team in Ethiopia, working directly with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority.
The initiative is headed by Ethiopian national Fetene Hailu, who has worked in wildlife trafficking control for many years and is an old colleague of Born Free. Funded for three years by a grant from the UK government, the Project brings together regional governments and trains officials, including police, judiciary, customs officers and the army, to take decisive action against wildlife criminals. The Project works together with many intergovernmental organisations including the UN’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Secretariat and the World Customs Organisation WCO, as well as various non-governmental organisations.
The Border Point Project has just celebrated its first birthday and is having a major impact. At dozens of workshops across the country, thousands of participants have received training about smuggling tactics and national wildlife laws. Public education is also a priority and information posters and a booklet devoted to wildlife laws and other conservation issues are being published.