Dear Colleagues,
We hope this new year brings a revived spirit to all our efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade and promote wildlife conservation for sustainable development. Looking back at 2018, the Global Wildlife Program (GWP) along with its partners delivered many knowledge resources and organized events to promote solutions and build a network of people committed to conservation.

At the  GWP Annual Meeting   in October over 75  GWP partners from Africa and Asia met in Zambia to learn new strategies for promoting transboundary conservation.  Watch the video  from the conference here .

In the past few months we have also liaised with many new partners during the  IWT London Conference  and the the  UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 14)  in Egypt. 

Our recent videos have drawn hundreds of thousands of viewers:   Niassa Elephant Defenders  is a powerful short film following the rangers tasked with protecting endangered elephants from poachers in Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique; the video iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Transforming Lives and Protecting Nature highlights a project that is boosting community livelihoods around South Africa’s third largest protected area.

On the ground in our 19 GWP participating countries, most of the national project teams have been hired, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funds are starting to flow, and activities are in motion with local staff and communities.

You can read more about these in the newly-released   GWP Knowledge Platform 2016 – 2018 publication  that summarizes our achievements over the last two years. We would not have been able to succeed in these milestones without the strong support and collaboration from all of our partners.

As we continue to develop and support our projects, please join us in making 2019 transformative for people, landscapes, and endangered wildlife. 

Best Wishes and Happy New Year, 
The GWP Team
GWP's 2nd Annual Meeting in Livingstone, Zambia
Recent GWP Resources
An overview of the activities of the GWP and its partners.
Cross-Border Partnerships For Conservation And Development
GWP and GEF at the UN Biodiversity Conference
In November, several GWP partners attended the CBD COP 14 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The theme of the conference this year was “Investing in biodiversity for people and planet.” Summaries of these meetings can be accessed here
The World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) organized three side events related to the GWP:

Participation of Local Communities in the Wildlife Economy: The GEF Secretariat organized and moderated this side event to discuss the rights, roles, and responsibilities of the local communities and indigenous peoples in the development and implementation of economic activities based on the sustainable use of wildlife, including through wildlife tourism.
Trends and Strategies to Tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade: Organized and moderated by the GEF Secretariat, this very popular panel focused on current wildlife crime trends, the work of the GWP, and effective approaches and technologies to combat wildlife trafficking. 
Approaches and Policies to Tackle Human Wildlife Conflict: The Bank organized this side event that discussed examples of strategies and approaches that countries are using to assess and mitigate human-wildlife conflict. The upcoming GWP/IUCN human wildlife conflict community of practice was also discussed. 
Putting youth to work while preserving a South African ecosystem
The World Bank, via a GEF grant, helped restore iSimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa while also creating job opportunities for the community in and around the park. The GWP is also working to boost livelihoods living close to wildlife and promoting sustainable nature-based tourism.
Video: iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Transforming Lives and Protecting Nature
Environmental Education assistant Sifiso Vumasa tells his story about growing up in the local community to now leading an environmental educational program that facilitates environmental awareness workshops with youth: "I’m using the knowledge I obtained from my father and I never thought along the way I could make a living out of it."
What is it like on the front lines to protect elephants from poachers?
 Watch Niassa Elephant Defenders to find out!
Poachers have decimated the elephant population in Mozambique’s Niassa National Reserve, but Niassa’s rangers are determined to save them from extinction. 
In this four-part series, rangers tell their story of violence, conservation and courage to protect the elephants—from facing off with poachers armed with AK-47s, to witnessing increasingly violent tactics of poachers that target baby elephants to lure and kill the whole herd.
Behind the lens: Capturing the story of Niassa's elephant defenders
Award-winning GWP filmmaker  Raul Gallego Abellan has been covering wars and conflicts since 2000. In his blog he explains why the war to protect elephants is waged on another type of battleground, and what motivates the rangers to keep going despite their lives being in constant danger:
“I have seen them patrol and how they care, and how frustrated they become when they cannot do their jobs properly because of adversities that have nothing to do with their will and skills.”
GWP Partner Resources:
Combating Environmental Organized Crime in the Philippines | ADB, DENR
The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources Biodiversity Management Bureau and the Asian Development Bank launched the GEF-supported technical assistance at the 2nd National Wildlife Law Enforcement Summit on November 22nd in Clark, Pampanga. 
The project will address IWT through legal and institutional reforms, build capacity through the full enforcement chain, and reduce demand for wildlife and wildlife parts.
Representatives from the police, navy armed forces, ports and Department of Justice and other enforcement agencies from all over the Philippines participated in the three-day workshop focused on combatting wildlife crime. 
This photo shows the " commitment board" signed by representatives at the launch:
Replay GWP's Recent Virtual Knowledge Events
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