tenBoma: the Anti-poaching Revolution | International Fund for Animal Welfare

tenBoma: the Anti-poaching Revolution

Elephants need us now more than ever

PBS NewsHour's special correspondent Jane Ferguson joined our field team for an in-depth look at our tenBoma project.

TenBoma architect, IFAW Senior Vice President Lt Col Faye Cuevas, alongside East Africa Regional Director James Isiche, developed a system of integrated networks involving local and global communities united with one goal: to predict and prevent a poacher's next strike.


Premiere episode of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly featured IFAW’s tenBoma program and its architect, Lt Col Faye Cuevas. 


tenBoma is a wildlife security initiative that safeguards the iconic African elephant and thousands of other species living in the landscapes they call home.

The primary goals: Saving wildlife and securing landscapes.

tenBoma, meaning ten houses, is inspired by an African community security philosophy that if ten houses look out for each other, the broader community is safer. Similarly, IFAW partners with local communities, governments and enforcement agencies like the Kenya Wildlife Service to create a coordinated system of eyes and ears that can monitor, predict and prevent poaching and other threats to wildlife.

Why? Because it takes a network to defeat a network. For instance, poachers are part of larger criminal organizations and supply chains that also include smugglers, dealers and other support personnel. To stay one step ahead of these criminal networks, IFAW needed to create an organized wildlife security network that is nimble and fast-acting.

One way we do that is by enabling information sharing among our partners. IFAW combines high-tech data analysis using satellites and computers with information collected from wildlife rangers and local communities, who keep a watchful eye for suspicious activities. This seemingly disparate information is aggregated to create actionable information about would-be poachers and other threats to wildlife. The information is then shared directly with field teams who can counter those threats before they materialize on the ground.

IFAW’s pilot initiative was Tsavo East National Park, which is Kenya's key conservation area, and has since expanded to include Tsavo West National Park, the Amboseli and Kilimanjaro landscapes. To protect the Tsavos, intelligence and operations experts from IFAW work closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service. More than 70 intelligence and investigation officers have been trained and three major operations have already been executed, uncovering new poaching networks and leading to investigations and arrests. As a result, INTERPOL has partnered with tenBoma, and IFAW Chief of Staff and tenBoma architect Faye Cuevas was named one of Vice’s “Humans of the Year.”

To learn more about the ivory supply chain, watch a new documentary film, “The Ivory Game,” which was executive produced by IFAW honorary board member Leonardo DiCaprio.

Media contact:
Kate Farinella
Director, Global Communications
Tel: 646.838.3951

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