What is Wildlex?

Wildlex is an information service on wildlife-related law, operated by IUCN.

Its purpose is to build capacity worldwide by providing free and easy access to wildlife-related legislation and case-law, employing modern technology.

The Wildlex database mainly focuses on the criminal aspects of statutory and judicial responses to wrongful behaviors affecting wildlife. It includes domestic laws, national court decisions from both higher and lower courts, a basic analysis of those court decisions and relevant literature on wildlife crime at the national or global level. Wildlex also provides links to other relevant websites for users to access further information. Finally, it includes training materials on wildlife and criminal law, created by the IUCN, free to download, use, modify and share. The database initially focused on analysis conducted in Tanzania, and will be progressively populated with data and information from more countries.

The development of this database is supported by the German Partnership against Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade in Africa and Asia to help combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade in Africa and Asia, measure implemented by GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).


Why Wildlex ?

The purpose of Wildlex is to improve access to environmental legislation and case law, with a particular focus on wildlife crimes.

Indeed, in many countries where biological resources are highly threatened by poaching and illegal trade in wildlife, prosecutors and courts lack access to updated legal resources such as legislation and previous decisions from other courts in the country. Ensuring access to these resources will help prosecutors and judges handle wildlife related cases, and contribute to raising awareness on the scope and nature of wildlife crimes at the global and national levels and to building a better understanding of existing legal mechanisms to combat them. The Wildlex database is also designed to support the comparison of case-law among different jurisdictions, in order to promote understanding of trends, challenges and opportunities in using the criminal justice system to protect wildlife and nature.

Finally, Wildlex aims at supporting the work of professors, researchers and students by gathering wildlife-related resources under a single platform and giving easy, online access to training modules and court decisions.


The Overall Objectives

Wildlex must be continuously maintained, refined and further developed with a view to serving the end users as efficiently as possible.  To do this, IUCN seeks to partner with national and international organizations, including academic institutions and civil society.

The long-term objectives of Wildlex are as follows:

  • Maintain, refine and develop the wildlife statutory and case-law database and its related information and resources;
  • Present these data in a user-friendly format, facilitating searches for references and full texts through the development of bridges between this database and resources compiled on other online platforms;
  • Provide global access to the database in an efficient and cost-effective manner;
  • Address the special needs and access problems of users;
  • Develop a distributed network of partners, at regional and national level;
  • Develop special Wildlex products and services aimed at increasing knowledge and building capacity in wildlife law at the local, national and regional levels; and

If you are interested in learning more about Wildlex, please contact us at wildlex@iucn.org.