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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  • 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.


  • 80 kilos of shark fins seized in Port Gentil (Gabon)

    80 kilos of shark fins seized


    Sunday, November 30th, nearly 80 kg of shark fins were seized in Port Gentil by the Judicial Police. Two Nigerian nationals,  Abel ABAKA Joseph and WONIOWEI Igbosu were arrested and held in custody before being presented to the prosecutor’s office to answer for their actions.

    Fishery resources are the responsibility of the Directorate General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, which must monitor this type of case to verify the origin and destination of the products sold illegally or not.


    The exploitation of sharks is not prohibited but requires authorization and payment of relevant fees as any other type of fishing. However, given the pressure on sharks, the permissions for the fin trade are no longer produced by the administration. The fin trade is stopped but that does not stop trafficking to continue.

    The fins represent only 3% of the weight of sharks, but the illegal trade is focused on these high-valued parts that are intended for the preparation of soups in Asia. Many fishermen reject live sharks to the seas after cutting off their fins. They inevitably die for a huge waste.

    Furthermore, the illegal trade of shark fins has created enormous pressure on fragile shark populations. Some estimates consider that over 100 million sharks are killed annually in the world. In recent decades, many shark species involved in the trafficking of shark fins and are endangered have already lost more than 50% of their population, or even 98% for some species!

    The role of sharks in the oceans is nevertheless capital by regulating certain species. The historic decision of the Head of State to create marine parks and to protect and sustain manage fisheries resources was praised by the international community at the last summit in Australia, which has just ended. Gabon is still full of exceptional fauna and flora but is also a target for all kinds of traffickers. The fight against trafficking of natural resources including fisheries resources should be intensified. This starts with a strengthening of the legislation.


  • Escalation of poaching in Northern Gabon


    MBA OWONO Sylvain and MEZUI MENDONG Jean-Marie
    MBA OWONO Sylvain and MEZUI MENDONG Jean-Marie

    Six tusks of ivories, a panther skin and a golden cat skin were seized by the police, judicial and ministerial authorities, along with the NGO Conservation Justice in the city of Oyem Thursday November 20.

    Two poachers of Gabonese nationality, were arrested for transportation, illegal detention trophies strictly protected species and 458 caliber bullets yet prohibited by law. Indeed, gentlemen MBA OWONO Sylvain and MEZUI Mendong Jean-Marie went to the hotel IYA where they intended to sell their loot.

    When asked by members of the Judicial Police in Oyem, they confessed to the charges against them, revealing the fact that they had already sold ivory. These two are not at their first offense and are not small hunters.

    They were put in custody and will be presented on Monday in court to meet the facts applicable to them. The new PJ antenna leader in Oyem will not have taken too much time to signal his determination in the fight against poaching, an attitude to congratulate, but also to sustain.

    This is the second time in less than a week that we reported cases of large-scale poaching and trafficking in the country. Two cases tarnishing the congratulations received the World Parks Congress held in Australia and the Green Ribbon Political Award which was awarded to the head of state by the English Parliament.

    Protecting the environment is to protect wildlife and especially the endangered species. In Gabon, this requires a tightening of sanctions under the Forestry Code (maximum 6 months imprisonment), but also a strict application.