UNODC – LATF Press Release

unodc(Nairobi, Kenya – 27th May 2016) 

UNODC and LATF sign MoU to step up the fight against wildlife and forest crime

Today in Nairobi alongside UNEA2, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime through its Global Programme for Combatting Wildlife and Forest Crime (UNODC GPWLFC) and the Nairobi based Lusaka Agreement Task Force on Co-operative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora (LATF), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation in combating wildlife and Forest crime in Africa.

The MOU will provide a framework of cooperation and understanding, and facilitate collaboration between UNODC and LATF to further their shared goals and objectives in regard to the fight against wildlife and forest crime. This is a culmination of an on-going relationship between LATF and the UNODC in supporting member states wildlife and forest conservation efforts to the benefit of the environment, national and local economies, livelihoods of the people and global community.

Speaking at the function to announce the MoU between the two organisations, UNODC’s Regional Coordinator of the Wildlife and Forest Crime Programme for Eastern Africa Mr. Javier Montano stated “wildlife and forest crime is no longer an emerging crime, but rather the fourth largest transnational organized crime behind drug trafficking, arms trafficking, and trafficking in human beings. The transnational nature of these crimes, require concerted efforts and cooperation between agencies and countries, and the partnership with LATF is a great step towards achieving this objective. We are also going to work with LATF on capacity building efforts for countries to count with human resources well trained and with specialized knowledge in this field.


LATF Director Bonaventure Ebayi underlined: “the fight against Illegal trade in wild fauna and flora must be fought at all fronts. As you are already aware, illegal wildlife trade has increased exponentially over the past 10 years thereby adversely affecting international security, stability, good governance and livelihoods, to the point that some iconic species such as elephants and rhinos are being pushed towards extinction. This is not just a wildlife poaching problem but part of a global illicit trafficking which is directly threatening the safety and development of Africa. This complex problem calls for concerted efforts and the UN System is critical to our success in addressing associated challenges especially at a time when Africa is engaging with the implementation of our recently adopted common strategy on combatting illegal exploitation and illegal trade in wild fauna and flora. LATF is happy to have partnered with UNODC in order to bolster the capacity to effectively deal with wildlife crime globally, a menace which is depriving sovereign States the opportunity to benefit from their God given natural resources”

Under the MOU UNODC GPWLFC and LATF will collaborate on five (5) main overarching themes which include Support Technical Assistance and capacity building activities to strengthen wildlife and forest law enforcement agencies to combat wildlife and forest crimes, strengthening regional and International Cooperation among Law Enforcement Agencies dealing with wildlife and forest crimes, Support in sharing information, data collection, analysis, reporting and intelligence-led operations, Promoting review of legislation and effective prosecution of wildlife and forest cases and raising Awareness and Civil Society Empowerment.

About UNODC and the GP-WLFC

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has the mandate to implement the CCPCJ Resolution 23/1 (2014): Strengthening a targeted crime prevention and criminal justice response to combat illicit trafficking in forest products, including timber; the UN Security Council Resolutions 2134 and 2136 (2014); the ECOSOC Resolution 2013/40: Crime prevention and criminal justice responses to illicit trafficking in protected species of wild fauna and flora; the ECOSOC Resolution 2011/36: Crime prevention and criminal justice responses against illicit trafficking in endangered species of wild fauna and flora. UNODC’s work in this area is implemented through its Global Programme for Combatting Wildlife and Forest Crime.

For more information, visit www.unodc.org/unodc/en/wildlife-and-forest-crime/index.html

About The Lusaka Task Force Agreement (LATF)

The Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) is a permanent intergovernmental law enforcement organization established to support the efforts by countries in reducing and ultimately eliminating illegal trade in wild fauna and flora. LATF was launched in June 1999 headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya is the Secretariat and operation arm of the Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora, a regional multilateral environmental agreement adopted in Lusaka on 8 September 1994 under the auspices of UNEP and deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. LATF bridges source, transit and destination countries of contraband wildlife specimens originating from Africa, carries out intelligence and investigations, supports and coordinates intelligence led enforcement operations. It also undertakes capacity building, promotes state cooperation as well as interagency collaboration and synergies in the fight against transnational wildlife and forestry crimes.

For more information, visit www.lusakaagreement.org

Contact:

Javier Montaño (Regional Coordinator Wildlife and Forest Crime Programme for Eastern Africa UNODC) –

Tel: + 254 207621298; Email: javier.montano@unodc.org

Bonaventure Ebayi (Director LATF) – Tel: +254 722204008; Email: administrator@lusakaagreement.org;

UNODC Press Release