Law enforcement officials brush up on African wildlife crime investigating skills
Brazzaville-Republic of Congo, 28 July- 1st August 2019. Two multi-institutional capacity building workshops on investigations into wildlife crimes were held for law enforcement officers at the Mikhael’s Hotel.
ENACT (Enhancing Africa’s response to transnational organized crime) in collaboration with the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission, the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) the Executive Secretariat of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC), organized three workshops focusing respectively on: (I)building the capacities of law enforcement officials on wildlife crime investigations, (ii) consultations between Directors of Protected Areas and Wildlife on law enforcement challenges (iii) raising awareness of implementation of the African Strategy on the Fight Against Illegal Exploitation and the Illicit Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora in Africa (postponed).
Participants included experts representing: the African Union Commission, the Lusaka Agreement (LATF), the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC), ENACT, INTERPOL, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC), the Royal Constabulary, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF), the Task Force on Money Laundering in Central Africa (GABAC), the Organization for Wildlife Conservation in Africa (OCFSA), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), WWF, Wildlife and Protected Area Managers and senior police, gendarmerie and judicial officers from Congo, Gabon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chad. The mix of participants from various walks of life highlighted the complexity of the challenges at hand and the need to engage a wide range of actors in using the host of available instruments and tools to tackle these issues.
At the close of the deliberations, the participants agreed that all the stakeholders need to work together to effectively fight poaching and wildlife trafficking on the one hand, and on the other hand, other measures would be needed, including: strengthening wildlife crime legislation and regulation; stepping up investigations and prosecution as well as intelligence efforts; enhancing collaboration between national wildlife law enforcement agencies, between States and also bolstering cooperation between sub-regional institutions on wildlife crime; strengthening operational capacity (training, equipment, intelligence gathering, staff numbers) of law enforcement officers: foster the establishment of compensation funds to manage human-wildlife conflicts. All these measures should be supplemented with specific awareness-raising and communication measures.
Fighting wildlife crime: law enforcement officials receive training