WEMS is a web-based model developed by the United Nations University (UNU) as a response to the United Nations member states’ call for a common framework in collection, compilation, and analysis of data. The system serves as a uniform compliance measuring mechanism to ensure more timely information and analysis to facilitate wildlife crime prevention enforcement efforts at the national, regional and global levels. WEMS empowers national governments to monitor the effectiveness of enforcement of and compliance with legislations at national and international levels.
The WEMS Secretariat under the AIT Solutions in the Asian Institute of Technology will coordinate the implementation of WEMS in Asia. WEMS Asia will focus on replicating the information-sharing framework in operation in Africa and facilitate transcontinental collaboration with Africa and other continents. Currently, consultations with the Asian countries including Bhutan and Thailand is underway in an effort to deploy WEMS.
The Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) is the nodal agency for WEMS implementation in Africa. LATF is an intergovernmental body with the main function of facilitating cooperative activities in and among the Party states to the Lusaka Agreement, in carrying out investigations on violations of national laws pertaining to illegal trade in wild fauna and flora.
Implementation of WEMS commenced by the establishment of a regional environmental governance framework for research and development co-operation between LATF, UNU and International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of University of Twente. This is in line with a memorandum of understanding between the three implementing institutions signed in September 2010.
In July 2011, WEMS Africa was formally launched with deployment in four East African countries namely Congo-Brazzaville, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda under Phase 1. The Phase 2 commenced in June 2016 with roll out of WEMS in Liberia and Zambia.