In November 2009, various international organizations and agencies with mandates in law enforcement and criminal justice capacity-building decided to come together to work jointly on the formation of an international consortium. Representatives from the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat,
the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the
World Bank and the
World Customs Organization (WCO) held their first-ever joint meeting in Vienna to design a strategy intended to prevent and combat illegal trade in wild animals and plants. They decided to form the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) to jointly move forward in a coordinated manner.
The Consortium was formally launched in November 2010 during the International Tiger Forum, hosted in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, when the final signatures were added to a letter of understanding among the five entities.
ICCWC is the first initiative where these five agencies cooperate together towards a common goal of delivering multi-agency support to affected countries. ICCWC brings together the expertise of each agency in a formidable manner.
At its initial meeting, ICCWC requested UNODC to take the lead in developing an analytic toolkit concerning existing wildlife and forest law enforcement systems. UNODC is responsible for the coordination of the inter-divisional task force, cooperation with its partners within the ICCWC and serves as the substantive office for all wildlife and forest crime related activities. As a partner within ICCWC, UNODC focuses on national capacity-building of law enforcement, judiciary, prosecution and legislation.