About us


The UK government is committed to tackling the illegal wildlife trade. The Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund provides financial support to practical projects around the world which are:

  • developing sustainable livelihoods and economic development, to benefit people directly affected by IWT
  • strengthening law enforcement
  • ensuring effective legal frameworks
  • reducing demand for IWT products

The illegal wildlife trade is a criminal industry worth more than £17 billion each year threatening both wildlife and people.

Through the Challenge Fund around £26 million has been allocated to 85 projects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For further information on the related funds, the Darwin Initiative and Darwin Plus working in the UK Overseas Territories, please follow the links provided below:


IWT Advisory Group membership

John E. Scanlon (Chair) – Elephant Protection Initiative Foundation

UK Government policy advisers from:

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Members with IWT knowledge or experience:

UK Border Force Representatives

Jonathan Barzdo – Independent

Elizabeth Bennett – Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Alison Littlewood – Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)

Dr David Roberts – Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent

Dr Dilys Roe – International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Justin Gosling – Wildcrime

Donnamarie O’Connell – Independent

Dr Noelle Kumpel – BirdLife International

Dr Carly Cowell – Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Grace Ge Gabriel – International Fund for Welfare of Animals (IFAW)

Naomi Doak – Elephant Protection Initiative Foundation