The world's largest international police organization, Interpol, announced the creation of a team solely dedicated to tackling wildlife trafficking and other environmental crimes in Africa this week. The team will focus on elephant and rhino poaching, because those species are frequently targeted for their tusks or horns.
The unit will be located in the organization's Regional Bureau for East Africa in Nairobi, and officials will collaborate with national law enforcement agencies on the ground to conduct national and regional investigations.
This isn't the first time Interpol has targeted wildlife crime - the organization's Project Wisdom was created in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund to support international investigations into ivory trafficking. This new initiative takes things a step further.
David Higgins, Head of Interpol's Environmental Security unit, said in a statement:
"This initiative will enable Interpol, through its Project Wisdom, to provide continuous investigative and analytical support to East African member countries concerning significant transnational wildlife trafficking cases, and to assist with planning operations targeting the organized criminal networks behind these crimes."