Fight the Illegal Wildlife Trade


Action for Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees are one of the most iconic victims of the illegal wildlife trade (IWT) crisis. Because of inadequate law enforcement and inaction by governments, the illegal trade in great apes is a low-risk and lucrative business. Thousands of chimpanzees are taken from the wild each year to fill the demand for pets, tourist attractions, bushmeat, and body parts, which may generate up to US$6.4 million annually for those involved in the illicit supply chain.

PASA hosted a Conference on Western Chimpanzee Trafficking to reduce the trade in critically endangered western chimpanzees. Some major outcomes of this conference were convincing government officials of the importance of chimpanzee conservation. This was demonstrated in the enthusiasm for creating a work plan and the sense of urgency in setting deadlines. 

The conference established a steering committee which includes representatives of all five participating countries as well as PASA, which will take the lead on developing a work plan to combat the IWT.

Curtailing the illicit trade of western chimpanzees and preventing their impending extinction will require greater sharing of information, coordination, mobilization, and funding efforts both regionally and internationally. PASA and partner organizations brought together government agencies, sanctuaries, and other NGOs in West Africa, international organizations and agencies at a Conference on Western Chimpanzee Trafficking.

 The conference achieved the following:

  • Confronted the severity of IWT in West Africa, particularly the risk of extinction of chimpanzees.
  • Convinced government officials of the importance of chimpanzee conservation.
  • Persuaded government officials and NGO representatives of the essential roles of sanctuaries in chimpanzee conservation, especially in combating trafficking.
  • Established a steering committee which includes representatives of all five participating countries as well as PASA, which will take the lead on developing a work plan and other tasks.
  • Increased communication and making stronger connections between agencies that can fight chimpanzee trafficking, both within the same country and in different countries.
  • Educated participants about chimpanzee trafficking, conveyed the importance of it and showed that this affects all participating countries.