Forest and Wildlife Law Enforcement in Central Africa

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  • Who we are

    Hands - darken to useConservation Justice aims to protect elephants in addition to other threatened species in Gabon from illegal hunting and wildlife trade by increasing the level of wildlife law enforcement nationwide and deterring potential elephant poachers and ivory traders from conducting these activities. Conservation Justice collaborates closely with LAGA ( and follows its methods.

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  • Laws governing Forest, Wildlife and Aquatic Ecosystems

    A group photo of the participants.
    A group photo of the participants.

    In line with its activities on supporting the implementation of the Wildlife Act and the fight against illegal logging, was held onWednesday, January 28, 2015, a training seminar for the gendarmes assigned to brigades in Franceville. This working session chaired by the President of the Court of Franceville took place in the Provincial Directorate of the meeting room of the Water and Forests and the theme “The laws governing Forest, Wildlife and Aquatic Ecosystems.”

    Organized by the Provincial Directorate of Forestry and Conservation Justice, the workshop aimed to give participants the necessary basics for a better understanding of  ivory trafficking and illegal logging. Also, the objectives were to build capacity training for the protection of wildlife and the forest, know and master the criminal proceedings, inform the agents benefit from these themes that constitute the State’s priorities but also communities and create a dynamic network to share experiences.

    This session focused on four active interventions of the participants. The NGO Conservation Justice opened the session by emphasizing the specificity of the ivory trade, panther skins and apes from Central Africa to other continents. Then, the Registrar of Batéké Plateaux Park introduced the legislation governing national parks offenses before the head office of the Wildlife Provincial Directorate of Water and Forests  recalled the legislation on wildlife protection and wild plants. The President of the Tribunal, Madame Frédérique BITAR presented to agents the procedure applicable to offenses of Forestry.

    Finally, the process of questions and answers was initiated before the session closed.

    It is hoped that such exchanges and training will yield concrete results in the fight against trafficking of ivory but also of wood. The legislation is quite low but strict with the involvement of all parties would have to curb these phenomena which are costly to the state and threatening the heritage and Gabon ecological balance.

  • 110 kilos of ivory intercepted on the Makokou-Lalara road

    The arrested traffickers with the ivory.
    The arrested traffickers with the ivory.

    Gabon’s wildlife continues to undergo daily human pressures despite some arrests and awareness campaigns to protect its environmental heritage. And the elephants still raise a particular interest for poachers and traffickers, sometimes placed very high, because the price of ivory stirs desires. The vigilance of the security forces, even during holidays and professional duty has once again demonstrated the threat to these iconic species.

    As of December 26th, 2014 at about 3 am, during a routine check at the checkpoint in the village Yen on the Makokou-Lalara axis, the gendarmerie platoon arrested two traffickers: EL Hadje Inoua and NTONGA Assouman the brain of the group, in possession of 21 tusks and 09 pieces of ivory. A total of over 110 kg seized ivory and hidden in a NISSAN vehicle registered G9B-7649. This corresponds to around fifteen killed elephants.

    SAIDOU ABOUBAKAR their accomplice, had on him 2,324,000 FCFA and attempted to bribe the police with the promise of adding another 2.5 million CFA francs. EL Hadje Inoua, NTONGA Assouman and SAIDOU ABOUBAKAR were brought before the Prosecutor of the Republic to the Court of Makokou, December 29, 2014, with all the seized ivory and money of the attempted bribery. One can only congratulate the integrity and effectiveness of the police who have completed this action. This is an example for all other judicial police officers in the country.

    After the hearing a judicial investigation was opened and the respondents were placed in custody. Recall that hunting, possession, transportation and marketing of fully protected species or their products are prohibited under the provisions of Article 92 of the Forestry Code and that any offender is liable to penalties of up to six months imprisonment and a maximum fine of 10 million. Not to mention the corruption offense exposing their authors to a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine of two million according to Article 145 of the Gabonese Penal Code.

  • Anti-poaching mission in Franceville


    According to a press released by Conservation Justice, an anti-poaching mission has achieved significant results with many seizures. Presented to the prosecutor, they were destroyed.

    Following multiple reports of poaching during the year-end period and the gruesome discovery of an elephant without tusks on December 26th on the sand banks of the river M’Passa not far from the village Kessala, the Director of Forestry for the province of the Haut-Ogooué Lucien Massoukou, prescribed a mission to fight against poaching from the 29th to the 31st December 2014, a mission supervised by the head of the departmental service of the Plateaux, Kakoua Atsima. 

    According to this organization for the protection of biodiversity, actions were supported in various ways by partners such as the Batéké Plateau National Park, the Lékédi Park, gendarmerie brigades in Okondja, Andjogo, Bakoumba and Mounana the CEB Precious Woods societies, Rougier Gabon, as well as non-governmental organizations Conservation Justice and the Gorilla Protection Project.

    The seizure included game, firearms, ammunition and remains fully protected animal species. A total of 11 firearms there are 80 ammunition, 12 bush pigs, pangolins, chevrotains, 34 duikers, porcupines and monkeys and an elephant carcass.


    To accomplish this mission, five teams of at least five people (agents of Waters and Forests, eco-guards and police officers) were mobilized. Patrols, surveillance in fixed or mobile units were the procedure. All entries were exhibited and presented to the prosecutor at the court in Franceville who ordered their destruction in the municipal waste Franceville in the presence of police.

     According to the Gabonese forestry code, they face imprisonment of three to six months and a fine of 100,000 to 1,000,000 CFA.


  • Ivory traffickers found not guilty


    Six points of ivories, a panther skin and skin golden cat had been seized by the judicial police in Oyem Thursday, November 20th. Two traffickers, MBA OWONO Sylvain and Jerome MEZUI Mendong, Gabonese nationals, were caugth in the act of transportation, illegal detention and attempt of marketing trophies from fully protected species and 458 caliber bullets, though prohibited by law.

    They had been in custody and presented to the prosecutor for their crimes. Curiously, the concerned were found not guilty by the judges for offenses, and one of them was sentenced only to one month in prison for illegal detention of 458 caliber bullets.

    Gabon has embarked on an ambitious development program based on the valuation and sustainable management of natural resources. In this context, national parks and natural heritage (including wildlife) deserve real protection with the support of various state services.

    These court decisions unfortunately are contrary to government policy and the fight against environmental crime. The application of the law remains a necessary condition for good governance and only judges may well deter offenders with independence and transparency. The work of police and prosecutors may be undermined by the decisions of the judges, which inevitably demotivate the efforts made.