USAID’s VukaNow.

USAID’s VukaNow Activity – Combating Wildlife Crime in Southern Africa

Project Dates: March 2018 - March 2022
The decimation of wildlife through illegal poaching and trade threaten economic development and livelihood security in southern Africa.

Wildlife crime is a multi-billion-dollar illicit business that is decimating Africa’s iconic animal populations and undermining the economic prosperity and sustainable development of countries and communities throughout southern Africa. It threatens the region’s natural capital and undermines sustainable development from legal nature-based enterprises, such as tourism. Wildlife crime also threatens social stability and cohesion as it robs and impoverishes citizens of their cultural and natural heritage, while its organized criminal networks threaten regional peace and security. In response to this issue, USAID’s VukaNow Activity supports the shared commitments of the U.S. government, the Southern Africa Development Community, member states, private sector partners, and civil society to dramatically reduce wildlife crime across southern Africa. The activity emphasizes strengthening enforcement, improving policy frameworks, and promoting collaborative action and learning to address wildlife crime.

Project Goals


  • Deepen learning and knowledge sharing to improve the efficacy of combatting wildlife crime initiatives
  • Increase collaborative action among governments, civil society, and communities to reduce wildlife crime in targeted areas
  • Dramatically reduce wildlife crime across southern Africa