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Thursday
May042017

Use of AFRICA-TWIX promoted in Republic of Congo and DRC

Representives gather at the AFRICA-TWIX workshop in the Republic of CongoKintélé, Republic of Congo, April 2017–more than 50 representatives from local wildlife law enforcement agencies and international conservation NGOs attended a workshop promoting the use of the Africa Trade in Wildlife Information EXchange (AFRICA-TWIX) platform: an online collaborative tool developed to facilitate the exchange of information and promote co-operation between law enforcement officers in Central Africa.

AFRICA-TWIX comprises a mailing list (Internet Forum), and a database of seized wildlife species and products, and criminal offences. It is modelled on the European Union’s EU-TWIX, which for more than a decade has facilitated information exchange between enforcement officials in European countries.

AFRICA-TWIX has already made significant progress in fostering collaboration between cross-border law enforcement bodies in Central Africa since its inauguration in 2016.

The workshop, which was organized by TRAFFIC in partnership with the Ministry of Forest Economy, Sustainable Development and Environment with support from the African Forestry Commission, aimed to promote further information sharing and co-operation between forest and wildlife law enforcement agencies at national, regional and international levels.

The meeting was opened by Pierre Taty, Director of the Cabinet of Forest Economy, Sustainable Development and Environment in the Republic of Congo.

Cléo Mashini Mwatha, TRAFFIC’s Senior Program Officer, said: “We are extremely encouraged by the ongoing support for the AFRICA-TWIX platform and the level of co-operation it has facilitated between law enforcement bodies in Central African nations: such collaboration is crucial for ensuring effective cross-boundary action to combat illegal wildlife trade.”

The meeting took place over two days and featured speakers from the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and TRAFFIC. Participants made a number of recommendations on ways to improve collaboration and on how to streamline the supply of information to the AFRICA-TWIX database and several new members were registered or nominated to join the platform.

François Kpwang Abessolo, TRAFFIC’s AFRICA-TWIX Project Manager said “There was active engagement from participants across a range of law enforcement and judiciary agencies and we believe there is the potential for AFRICA-TWIX to expand and engage even more users in the region .”

Financial support for the workshop was provided through the Polifund project implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), WWF France and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

For more information, please contact:
François Kpwang Abessolo, AFRICA-TWIX Project Manager, TRAFFIC
email: francois.abesolo@traffic.org

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