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VUKANOW: The USAID Umbrella programme for Combating Wildlife Crimes in Southern Africa

28 February 2019

USAID VukaNow, operational since April 2018, compliments four landscape projects, aimed at significantly reducing the level of poaching and illegal trade in the SADC region. The lead landscape partners include World Wildlife Fund (WWF) South Africa - Kheta Program, covering parts of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA); WWF-Namibia in the Kavango Zambezi TFCA (KAZA TFCA); International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), covering the Kasungu-Lukusuzi, part of the MALAWI-Zambia TFCA; and Sustainable Agriculture Technology (SAT) and Lowveld Rhino Trust Lowveld of Zimbabwe. 

One of the USAID VukaNow objectives is to catalyze learning and sharing for improved results to combat wildlife crime. In this regard, the program recognizes that complex social problems like wildlife trafficking require intentional cross-sectoral coordination rather than isolated, individual efforts to achieve lasting change. VukaNow promotes four principles needed to achieve in the collective impact: clarity and alignment of purposes and activities, clear communication, co-creation and progress tracking, and partnership growth and fundraising. Key milestones achieved so far include the establishment and convening of  the first combating wildlife crime in Southern Africa (CWCSA) monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) Network to harmonize indicators and generate a single core set of regional indicators, definitions, and reporting tools. Other activities VukaNow is currently engaged with include hotspot analysis of wildlife crime, judiciary training, forensic training and purchase of forensic equipment and communication support to KAZA.