What is Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF)?2023-06-09T12:30:09+00:00

LATF is a law enforcement institution which is also the Secretariat of the Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora.

How does LATF operate?2023-06-09T12:32:39+00:00

LATF operates in and across   Party states jointly with National Bureaus and other relevant national law enforcement agencies.  In this regard it facilitates cooperative enforcement operations, collects intelligence, investigates cases, participates in arrests and supports prosecution of wildlife law offenders. (Refer to Specific Functions of LATF on “About us’ web page)

Why “Lusaka” as in the Lusaka Agreement?2023-06-09T12:34:49+00:00

The Agreement was  adopted in Lusaka, Zambia on 8th  September 1994 hence “Lusaka Agreement

What precipitated the idea of Lusaka Agreement and the Task Force?2023-06-09T12:39:24+00:00

The Agreement was first conceptualized during deliberations by the first African Wildlife Law Enforcement Co-operation Conference that was held in Lusaka Zambia from 9-11th December 1992.  The Conference, which was attended by senior officers from Eastern and Southern Countries, pointed out lack of cooperation as one of the problems faced by national law enforcement agencies in combating international wildlife smuggling syndicates.

Due to practical and legal challenges that were facing the national institutions mandated to fight wildlife crime, the Conference proposed more effective measures to combat cross border illegal trade.  One of the key recommendations made was the establishment of a Task Force to complement national enforcement efforts aimed at curtailing illegal trade in wild fauna and flora. Consequently, the Lusaka Agreement was adopted which facilitated the establishment of the Task Force.

How big is LATF?2023-06-09T12:39:51+00:00

The Lusaka Agreement Task Force is currently composed of 13 members of staff,  five( 5) of whom are Seconded Officers from Party States (including the Director and Intelligence Officer) while the rest are support staff.

How is LATF funded?2023-06-09T12:40:31+00:00

The Annual Budget of the Task Force is mainly financed by the Parties.  Besides Party States’ contributions, the Task Force  receives grants/donations from co-operating partners and other well wishers to support specific programmes.

Which countries are Parties to the Agreement?2023-06-09T12:41:05+00:00

So far seven (7) countries have acceded to the Agreement namely the Republics of Congo (Brazzaville), Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, the Kingdom of Lesotho, United Republic of Tanzania and Liberia. The Republics of Ethiopia, South Africa and the Kingdom of Swaziland are signatories to the Agreement.

How does a country become a member of the Lusaka Agreement?2023-06-09T12:41:39+00:00

Article 12(3) of the Lusaka Final Act, states that the “Agreement shall remain open for accession by any African state”. Consequently, all African countries are eligible for membership to the Lusaka Agreement for as long as they accept and comply with their obligations under it.

For a country to become a Party, its instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession must be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations who will notify the Parties on  the same.

Does LATF assist or work with non-Party States?2023-06-09T12:42:11+00:00

Yes, the Task Force occasionally works with non-Party States through their relevant wildlife entities and law enforcement agencies especially on issues affecting Party States, including capacity building programmes

What is the extent of illegal trade in wild fauna and flora?2023-06-09T12:43:02+00:00

Wildlife crime includes any form of illegal exploitation and trade in wild fauna and flora. Over the years, this menace has had direct and indirect impacts on Africa’s natural resources and heritage as well as the continent’s legal and sustainable use of wildlife and potential revenue. It remains the greatest threat to populations of endangered wild species and has wide-ranging indirect impacts on African societies, economies, and environment. Illegal trade in wild fauna and flora leads to revenue losses in Millions of dollars in Africa and extreme poverty mostly for rural communities.

Assessing the extent of the illegal wildlife trade is difficult due to the clandestine nature of illicit activity. The UN Environment estimates illegal trade in wildlife globally to be between worth US$7 billion to US$23 billion while The African Development Bank estimates Illegal trade in the forest sector to be about US$13 billion (AfDB).

These estimates make the illegal wildlife trade to be one of the most profitable illicit trafficking industries behind the trafficking of drugs, guns, and humans.

Which animals and plants are most adversely affected by illegal trade?2023-06-09T12:43:43+00:00

Live Specimens: Chameleons, Tortoises, Birds , Great Apes, Crocodiles
Bush meat: Almost all wild animal species
Animal Trophies: Rhino horns, Elephant ivory, Hippopotamus teeth, skins (Leopard/Zebra/Cheetah/Python), Turtle shells
Plants: Succulents, Sandalwood, Aloe Vera, Cycads, Hardwood species for timber

Which are the common destinations of illegal wildlife specimens originating from Africa?2023-06-09T12:44:10+00:00

Countries in North America, Europe and countries in South East Asia.

What are the main uses of the smuggled plant and animal specimens?2023-06-09T12:44:45+00:00

Used for traditional medicine, perfumery, museum artifacts, jewellery, decorations, pets and in the leather tanning industry

Who are our partners?2023-06-09T12:45:56+00:00

Our partners mainly comprise National law enforcement agencies, UNEP, CITES, ICPO-Interpol, World Customs Organization-WCO, Organization for Conservation of African Wild Fauna –OCFSA /COMIFAC Secretariats, US Fish and Wildlife Service, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation(UK), International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Forest Bureau CoA (Taiwan), Corpo Forestale Dello Stato (Italy), International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE-USA), Israel Nature & National Parks, Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA), Humane Society of United States & Canada among others.  (Refer to web page on Partnerships)

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