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Friday
Jun162017

Gabonese authorities expand the AFRICA-TWIX network

Representatives from various Gabonese administrative and enforcement agencies attending a workshop promoting the use of the AFRICA-TWIX platform

Libreville, Gabon, June–a workshop promoting the use by enforcement agencies of the AFRICA-TWIX platform to address wildlife crime and illicit trafficking of wildlife products took place last week in Libreville.

AFRICA-TWIX[1] is an online tool developed to facilitate the exchange of information and co-operation between enforcement agencies in Central Africa. Launched in Douala, Cameroon, in February 2016 to an extensive delegation of representatives from forestry administrations and Customs services, AFRICA-TWIX currently connects more than one hundred officials from five countries, including 20 from Gabon.

The workshop was held under the invitation of Her Excellency, Madame Estelle Ondo and was attended by 32 participants from the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the central and external services of MEFPGDE[2], the Judicial Police, ICPO INTERPOL, Customs authorities, the High Authority for Airport Security and Facilitation at Leon Mba International Airport, WWF Gabon and the NGO Conservation Justice.

The main objectives of the workshop were to promote information sharing, exchange of experience and co-operation between forest and wildlife enforcement agencies, and strengthen regulatory frameworks at national, regional and international levels.

Participants also spent time discussing how to improve the effectiveness of the platform. A total of 23 recommendations were proposed, including ways in which to improve collaboration between institutions and enforcement agencies. These were recorded in the final communiqué and used as a basis for the development of a roadmap for which Mr. Athanase Nathanga Oyougou, Secretary General of MEFPGDE in his closing statement, promised that the Gabonese administration would spare no effort to honour.

The workshop was organized under the patronage of the Minister in charge of the Forest Economy, in partnership with TRAFFIC, the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC),
the financial support from WWF France under the framework of a project entitled “Contributing to the reduction of illicit trafficking in wildlife products in Francophone countries’’, the from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), as part of a project aimed at strengthening regional collaboration to combat illicit trafficking in forest products in Central Africa.

Additional information

[1] AFRICA-TWIX
An online tool developed to facilitate the exchange of information and co-operation between the management and control authorities of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

[2] MEFPGDE
Minister for Forest Economy, Fisheries and Environment in charge of the Protection and Sustainable Management of Forest Resources and Ecosystems

Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC)
Is the mandated government body to co-ordinate and monitor the management and conservation of the forests in the Central Africa.

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

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