INTERPOL has developed Project Predator to support and enhance governance and law enforcement capacity in tiger-range countries to improve the conservation of wild tigers.
The Project was launched in 2011 at an INTERPOL General Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam. As one of the 13 tiger-range countries, Vietnam affords its tigers the highest levels of protection under law. The launch of the Project in this country provides a platform for the development of the region’s response to tiger crime and other forms of wildlife crime.
Tigers are on the brink of extinction. There are only six species of tiger left in the world and fewer than 1,000 living tigers of each species. Only 13 countries have wild tiger populations. The greatest threat comes from criminals who control an illegal trade spanning countries and continents.
The enforcement response needs to employ advanced, intelligence-led methods of investigation and the engagement of the whole criminal justice system. The response must target the individuals who control this lucrative trade, bring them to justice, and seize any assets obtained through their crimes.
Aims of Project Predator
• Organize collaborative, high-level international efforts to improve political will
• Transform this will into departmental support
• Train officers in the necessary skills
The Project is not limited to the protection of tigers, but extends to the protection of all Asian “big cats”, since these species face similar threats. Protecting tigers will protect other Asian big cat populations as well, because the skins and body parts of leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards and Asiatic lions are traded in the same manner as tiger parts .
• Encourage communication, cooperation and collaboration with respect to intelligence exchange, cross-border investigations and training;
• Contribute to the apprehension of criminals and organized groups;
• Develop a global picture of the criminal activity affecting the ongoing conservation of tigers and Asian big cats.
The Project facilitates a range of activities, including:
• Hosting seminars for senior officials
• Conducting side events at strategic INTERPOL conferences and meetings
• Developing a curriculum for teaching investigative and intelligence gathering skills
• Establishing National Tiger Crime Task Forces
• Gathering and analysing intelligence
• Stimulating intelligence-led investigations and enforcement activities
• Advocating the Project through the media and other partners