ACAMS, World Wildlife Fund and Targeting Natural Resource Corruption Partner to Expand Illegal Wildlife Trade Certificate to Reach Spanish-Speaking Countries

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 3:00 AM HST

IWT social impact certificate —  in English, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and now Spanish — reaches 28 native-speaking countries.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- To combat rampant money laundering linked to illegal wildlife trade (IWT) and better safeguard the vibrant biodiversity in Latin America, ACAMS has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) to adapt its original English training course, Ending Illegal Wildlife Trade: A Comprehensive Overview, to Spanish. With an estimated $23 billion in illicit proceeds generated annually by IWT, this free-of-charge certificate will train anti-financial crime (AFC) professionals on how to better identify, investigate and penalize financial activity linked to this criminal threat.


In June 2020, The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) labeled IWT as a "significant transnational organized crime," urging governments, anti-corruption bodies, banks, and other institutions to enhance actions against money laundering efforts. As a direct response to FATF's call to action, ACAMS and WWF — with the support of the Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales, United for Wildlife, and Basel Institute on Governance — launched the initial IWT certificate in October 2020. Since then, the certificate has been adapted to target regional needs, with new local case studies in several languages, including Simplified Chinese, Japanese and now Spanish.

AFC professionals in the IWT program will learn red flags and the complex methods criminals use to elude import-export checks, including the exploitation through front companies, shell firms, online marketplaces, real estate, prepaid cards, mobile apps and other payment systems. The certificate educates and supports AFC professionals across the public and private sectors, including financial institutions, supervisory bodies, law enforcement agencies, and non-governmental organizations, among others.

Renata Cao, Latin America Wildlife Crime Hub Lead at WWF commented "This training course is a valuable tool in global efforts to curb illegal wildlife trade and addresses threats prevalent in Latin America. By including case studies on the trafficking of jaguar body parts, a major issue in Bolivia and other countries, and shark fin trafficking in countries like Mexico, Panamá, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina, it will help ensure the conservation of various apex predators vital to the region's ecosystems."

"This first-ever, Spanish-language AML course focused on illegal wildlife trafficking recognizes that Latin America is the most biodiverse region in the world and a targeted source of illegal wildlife traded globally," said ACAMS Interim CEO, Mariah Gause. "This course, adapted with Latin America and the Caribbean in mind, provides relevant information about regional species as well as case studies specifically documented in the region, but also relevant globally."

"Scratch beneath the surface of the illegal trade in wildlife, fish, or timber, and you'll likely find corruption," said Preston Whitt, anti-corruption advisor for the TNRC project at WWF-US. "By targeting money laundering linked to these crimes, you hit organized criminals where it hurts along with those who abuse their power to undermine the public good. By showing organizations what can be done, this unique course will help fight this devastating scourge that threatens biodiversity and lines the pockets of the criminal and the corrupt."

This IWT course is one of nine free social impact certificates launched by ACAMS since 2020. Other social impact areas include preventing online child exploitation, fighting modern slavery and enhancing financial inclusion. Learn more at

About ACAMS®
ACAMS is a leading international membership organization dedicated to providing opportunities for anti-financial crime (AFC) education, best practices, and peer-to-peer networking to AFC professionals globally. With over 100,000 members across 180 jurisdictions, ACAMS is committed to the mission of ending financial crime through the provision of anti-money laundering/counterterrorism-financing and sanctions knowledge-sharing, thought leadership, risk-mitigation services, ESG initiatives, and platforms for public-private dialogue. The association's CAMS certification is the gold-standard qualification for AFC professionals, while its CGSS and CCAS certifications are for sanctions professionals and AFC practitioners working in the crypto space, respectively. ACAMS' 60+ Chapters globally further amplify the association's mission through training and networking initiatives. Visit for more information.

About WWF

WWF is one of the world's leading conservation organizations, working in nearly 100 countries for over half a century to help people and nature thrive. With the support of more than 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat the climate crisis. Visit to learn more and keep up with the latest conservation news by following @WWFNews on Twitter and signing up for our newsletter and news alerts here.


The Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project seeks to improve biodiversity conservation outcomes by helping practitioners to address the threats posed by corruption to wildlife, fisheries and forests. TNRC harnesses existing knowledge, generates new evidence, and supports innovative policy and practice for more effective anti-corruption programming on the ground. A USAID-funded project, TNRC is implemented by a consortium of leading organizations in anti-corruption, natural resource management, and conservation: World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, TRAFFIC, and the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) at George Mason University.

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SOURCE Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS)

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