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Dear GWP Friends and Colleagues,

This year, the GWP Coordination Team acknowledged World Wildlife Day on March 3rd with a blog and video from Valerie Hickey, the World Bank’s Global Director of Environment, Natural Resources and the Blue Economy, about the importance of wildlife to development.

Wildlife conservation efforts around the globe have had an enormous impact on quality of life. Many models of this success can be found within our GWP projects. In India, ANIDERS (Animal Intrusion Detection and Repellent System) technology is helping make significant impacts in human-wildlife conflict at project sites in Sikkim, which has seen a 20-25% reduction in human-wildlife conflict. Similarly, up to a 20% reduction in crop loss has been observed in the Hanle village cluster and 50-75% in Gya-Meru village cluster in Ladakh. These are just a few examples of the way GWP projects are having a direct impact on people, livelihoods, economies and sustainable development.  

The World Wildlife Day theme for 2024 was “Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation”, which was the focus of a celebration streamed on UN Web TV. The GWP also has relevant technology-related resources available, like the Guidance Note on Lessons Learned in Conservation Technology that offers experiences and tips on the use of technology in wildlife conservation that are emerging from across the GWP. There is also the Conservation Technology e-Library, a searchable database of technological solutions that help combat illegal wildlife trade. 

This quarter’s newsletter also includes more information about the GWP e-Library collection, an update from the Migratory Species COP, updates from our partners and some great examples of successful media relations initiatives from projects in Africa and Latin America. 

Warm regards,

The GWP Coordination Team

World Bank

GWP Updates and Resources

66th GEF Council Meeting

During the first week of February, the GEF Council met and approved a work program of $1 billion in funding. This included the GWP’s 15 new GEF-8 projects as part of the GEF’s ambitions for the environment. These new projects will enable national, transboundary, regional and global interventions to transform systems that are driving wildlife loss.  

Global Wildlife Program GEF-8 project countries.

New e-Library

Corruption in wildlife trade and conservation is a serious and complex issue that poses significant threats to global biodiversity and environmental sustainability. To help, the GWP has just launched the new Countering Corruption in Wildlife Trade and Conservation e-Library.  

The e-library's resources are among the most authoritative and accessible for individuals who may not have specialized knowledge on anti-corruption but are actively engaged in addressing issues such as illegal wildlife trade, unsustainable practices, human-wildlife conflicts, or the promotion of sustainable, wildlife-based economies and protected areas management. 

Are you familiar with our e-library collection?

The GWP website has a growing list of e-libraries. These collections bring together resources for some of our most relevant topics and can be sorted by theme, region, language or keyword (depending on the e-library) to help find the information you need.  

The collection currently includes:

Countering Corruption in Wildlife Trade and Conservation
            Behavior Change for Wildlife Conservation            
           Nature-Based Tourism Resources and Tools          
                 Conservation Technology Resources                
      Ecological Corridors and Connectivity Resources       

Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species

In February, the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP14) met in Uzbekistan. It brought together governments, scientists and stakeholders to agree on strategies for the conservation of migratory species and their habitats. 

During the COP, the UN launched its State of the World’s Migratory Species report. It is the first comprehensive assessment of migratory species, offering a global overview of their conservation status and trends. Headlines from the report: 

  • 44% of CMS-listed migratory species are in decline 
  • 22% are threatened with extinction 
  • 97% of CMS-listed fish are threatened with extinction 

The report also includes the latest information on the main threats to species and successful actions to save them. 

Left to Right: Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, GEF CEO; Raghu Prasad, Inspector General, Forests, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, India; Valerie Hickey, Global Director, Environment, World Bank; Kumara Wakjira​, Director General, Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority; Urvashi Narain, Lead Economist, World Bank; Lisa Farroway, Program Manager, GWP, World Bank 

GWP at the CMS COP

At COP14, the GWP held its first ever side event at a CMS COP. The GWP’s event on “Investing in wildlife conservation to strengthen economies and livelihoods” included introductory remarks from GEF CEO Carlos Manuel Rodríguez and insights from high-level government representatives from Ethiopia, India, and Nepal. The panel discussed the importance of recognizing communities not just as beneficiaries but as stewards, providing tangible benefits to communities through jobs and food security, diversifying livelihoods to ensure sustainability, and of building the business case to show that wildlife conservation is an investment not a cost.  

What's new from GWP projects and partners

New on the GWP Website Reducing Maritime Trafficking of Wildlife: Best Practices for Ports

This report presents 11 promising practices for tackling illegal wildlife trade from multiple angles at seaports around the world. From trained sniffer rats to outreach campaigns, the report offers many tools to be used, combined, improved upon and further shared in collaboration between the public and private sector. 

It is based on work from the project “Reducing Maritime Trafficking of Wildlife Between Africa and Asia” funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and USAID, and implemented by UNDP under the GEF-funded, World Bank-led Global Wildlife Program. 

ICCWC Announces 500 Arrests as Part of Operation Thunder

Operation Thunder 2023, a joint INTERPOL-WCO initiative, led to over 500 arrests and 2,000 seizures of endangered species and protected timber, highlighting the global fight against wildlife and timber trafficking. The operation involved 133 countries, the highest participation rate since the initiative began in 2017. 


Media Engagement for Human-Wildlife Conflict

Workshop Summary and Materials

In January, GWP hosted the second in a series of knowledge events on engaging the media. The first, in September 2023, explored the crucial yet often ignored role the media can play in mitigating HWC. 

This second workshop took a deep dive into aspects of media engagement, specifically how a project or a government could take the first step in collaborating with media and what such an engagement looks like. 

Below are two different examples of media engagement shared during the workshop.

Knowledge Event Highlights Media Engagement Successes in Malawi and Mali

Malawi workshop changes the narrative

In the Kasungu National Park, reporting on human-elephant conflicts were on the side of victims and lacked context. To help raise awareness about the behavior of elephants with the public and build relationships with the media, a one-day workshop with local media was organized to explain: 

  • The need for human-wildlife coexistence 
  • Elephant behavior 
  • How to have balanced coverage of wildlife in the park 

The project also created a WhatsApp group to share and discuss stories. As a result, there was increased awareness about elephant behavior, balanced reporting on wildlife issues like poaching, and reduced incidents of human-wildlife conflict (no injuries or deaths recorded since August 2023). 

Mali media contact list in action

An increase in human-elephant conflict in the Gourma area led the project to brainstorm ways to inform communities about the behavior and movements of elephants. The project took a methodical approach to identifying the media that would have the most impact by: 

  • Performing an in-depth analysis of the main television, radio and press in Mali 
  • Identifying the reach, type of audience, credibility, integration and geographic coverage of each 
  • Considering a media channel’s experience in covering environmental and conservation issues and ability to effectively communicate to the target audience 

Because Mali’s Gourma elephants are of national and international importance, the project chose to focus on national television, popular private channels, private presses interested in safeguarding the environment and rural radio stations in target communities. 

In November 2023, when around 100 elephants left the reserve and travelled toward a village, the project mobilized their media outreach plan. The head of the anti-poaching brigade made radio announcements in various languages to raise community awareness and television stations were notified. The elephants stayed for over a month and returned to the reserve without a major incident in the local community.  

The Mali project’s media initiative has helped shift perceptions of wildlife from negative to a more nuanced understanding and has played a key role in mobilizing the community to be active participants in wildlife preservation programs. 

Past GWP Webinars can be found here and summaries of Knowledge Events here.

To receive regular updates about virtual events email:

[email protected]


The GWP Panama project is another great example for media relations. The weekend of World Wildlife Day was also Día Nacional de los Felinos Silvestres in Panama (National Wild Cat Day). 

The project team at Yaguará Panamá was ready to promote their great work with a television news interview, an article about their history and work, and as featured speaker for an event at a museum focused on Panama’s unique biodiversity, Biomuseo.  

Follow the GWP on X: @WBG_Environment

In addition to the blog and video from Valerie Hickey, on World Wildlife Day the GWP released the first clip of our forthcoming program video. The full video will be released in a few weeks. Enjoy this sneak peek!

Subscribe to the GWP Newsletter here

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Working together for wildlife, people and economies

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