Strengthening Forest and Wildlife Monitoring and Law Enforcement in the Congo Basin

This project aims to sustain and institutionalise the role of civil society in countering forest and wildlife crimes, as well as explore synergies and learning opportunities between the wildlife and the forest monitoring sectors.

FGMC, DFID • RALFF project, EU

Facing the challenges of grand scale illegal logging, poaching and all kinds of illegal wildlife trade in the Congo Basin, CIDT is joining forces with Conservation Justice and the EAGLE network, to run a project in four countries of the sub region: Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Congo.

In the context of the project, CIDT is focusing on producing research and publications on wildlife protection and potential synergies between the forest and wildlife-monitoring sectors. For example, CIDT has commissioned a comparative legal study on the protection of fauna and flora in the four countries of the project, aiming to start a deep reflection in the sub-region not only about the legal texts, but also about the perceptions of law enforcement agencies of forest-related crimes and their interpretation of the legal texts.

Also, CIDT is conducting a nexus study on illegal wildlife and timber trade in two project countries: Gabon and Central African Republic, aiming at exploring aspects of demand reduction and the impact of supporting alternative livelihoods and economic development on local populations. This study will also be exploring the synergies between the practices in the wildlife and the forest sectors to inform collaborative efforts to fight these crimes in the sub-region. To achieve the same objective, CIDT and CJ have facilitated a joint reflection workshop on these synergies between different CSOs working in the two sectors.

CIDT will also be producing a number of publications in the framework of this project. For example, a mapping study on the different civil society actors working in the two sectors in the four project countries, their areas of work, the dynamics of interactions between them, and their relationships with relevant stakeholders such as the authorities and donor organizations. Furthermore, we aim to produce a series of information notes on relevant policy issues.

In the framework of the project, our partners, Conservation Justice and the Eagle network are leading on activities and missions on the ground, related to investigations of wildlife crimes through undercover agents, assisting the national authorities in conducting arrest operations for wildlife traffickers, as well as the legal follow-up on relevant court cases.

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This project is part of a the EU funded project RALFF led by Conservation Justice.