Parties agree to re-engineer Lusaka Agreement and commit to enhance enforcement operations

The Governing Council of Parties to Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora held its 12th meeting from 28 – 30 May 2018 at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi. During the Ministerial session new Bureau officials were elected into office and included the Minister for Tourism and Arts of the Republic of Zambia Honourable Charles R. Banda (MP), the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife of the Republic of Kenya Hon. Najib Balala and the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism of the United Republic of Tanzania Hon. Dr. Hamisi A. Kigwangalla (MP) elected as President, Vice-President and Rapporteur of the 12th Governing Council respectively. The Governing Council adopted key decisions which are geared into transforming the Agreement into a more efficient and effective instrument to disrupt illegal transnational trafficking of wildlife. To this effect, in order to channel more funds to its core mandate of undertaking enforcement operations, the administrative budget of the Task Force has been reduced by having a leaner Task Force.

All Parties commended LATF for its positive achievements on law enforcement and in particular bringing to book high profile wildlife traffickers. The Parties approved the LATF’s Programme of work and budget for the year 2018/2019 and reaffirmed their commitment to continue honoring their obligations towards effective implementation of the Agreement and its operations. The approved activities for the coming year include: cooperative law enforcement, capacity development, enhancing financial sustainability and expanding membership. They also agreed to enhance the continental profile of the organization in order to win more countries in Africa to accede to Lusaka Agreement.

The 12th Governing Council meeting brought together Technical Experts from five (5) Lusaka Agreement member countries which included the Republics of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and the United Republic of Tanzania. Also in attendance was UN Environment who provided invaluable contributions to the enhancement of collective enforcement response to transnational organized wildlife crime in Africa and beyond

Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) is a permanent inter-governmental law enforcement organization established to support the efforts by countries in reducing and ultimately eliminating illegal trade in wild fauna and flora in Africa. LATF was launched in June, 1999 and is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. It is the Secretariat and operational arm of the Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna, a regional treaty adopted in 1994 under the auspices of UN Environment.

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