Since 2010, Conservation Justice is a Belgian association which 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. Another objective if the fight against illegal logging, as these two types of environmental crimes are linked. Conservation Justice collaborates closely with LAGA (www.laga-enforcement.org) and follows its methods. Conservation Justice is also member and one of the founding NGO of the EAGLE Network (http://www.eagle-enforcement.org).
In order to achieve these goals, the objectives of Conservation Justice, AALF (Appui à l’Application de la Loi sur la Faune) project are:
- To identify large-scale dealers in ivory and meat, and other illegal wildlife products, and provide evidence to support legal action against them.
- To bring about the arrest of large-scale illegal wildlife traders.
- To ensure the prosecution of large-scale illegal wildlife traders, and that sentences are handed down and served.
- To raise public awareness of the increased enforcement of wildlife law and the risks and penalties for wildlife criminals.
The results of these activities are frequent arrests and prosecutions for wildlife crimes involving elephant and other species, an increased national capacity to enforce wildlife laws, an increased public awareness of improved enforcement, and hence a reduced demand for illegally hunted elephant. Outputs include numerous articles produced via media activities as well as regular, publicly available reports.
Conservation Justice has also developed a similar approach to fight against illegal logging and an official partnership with Gabonese Government has been signed (ALEFI : Appui à la Lutte contre l’Exploitation Forestière Illégale). Conservation Justice staff also fights against illegal logging following the same method: investigations, operations, legal assistance, media promotion. Several illegal loggers and officials accomplices have already arrested, sentenced and put in jail.