UNODC and the EU support Congo's efforts to combat wildlife and forest crime

This event was funded by the European Union

Brazzaville, 16 October - The Republic of the Congo, a country rich in natural resources, forests, and minerals, faces severe threats resulting from criminal activities linked to the illicit trafficking of wildlife and forest products. Besides the damage to the environment and biodiversity, this illicit trafficking of wildlife and natural resources represents one of the most serious threats to peace, security and sustainable development for the country and for the Central Africa region.

In this context, the country has already adopted a legislative corpus to counter these threats and the International Consortium for the Fight against Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) supports the Republic of Congo in its efforts. This consortium was established in 2010, through concerted efforts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the CITES Secretariat (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), the World Bank, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO).

This support is part of a subregional programme, the workplan of which has been developed jointly with the Economic Community of Central African States, implemented by UNODC and ICCWC and funded by the European Union (EU). This workplan was presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Congo during a workshop in Brazzaville on 15 October.

The workshop, chaired by Mrs. Rosalie Matondo, Minister of Forest Economy, in the presence of the Ambassador of the European Union in the Republic of Congo, Mr. Raul Mateus Paula, gathered representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Defence, Finance and Justice, as well as representatives of the Diplomatic Corps and other technical and financial partners who support the Congo in the fight against wildlife and forest crime.

Mr. Ludovic D'HooreMrs. Rosalie Matondo and Mr. Raul Mateus Paula, Brazzaville, 15 October 2019

The Minister of Forest Economy, notably recalled the commitments of the Congolese State in the preservation of biodiversity, as translated in the 2015 Brazzaville Declaration, and stressed the need to ensure cooperation between all the national actors in the fight against the illicit trafficking of wildlife and forest products.

Ambassador Mateus Paula emphasized the importance of the actions that the European Union is financing at the sub-regional level and listed the various complementary projects that are being supported in this area, confirming the EU's commitment to the protection of the environment and the fight against wildlife crime.

Mr. Ludovic D'Hoore, Regional Coordinator for UNODC, underlined the importance of integrating innovative approaches in the field of investigation and prosecution of trafficking, as provided by the "Palermo Convention" on Transnational Organized Crime.

This activity contributes to the attainment of strengthening human capital, the institutional framework and consolidating the rule of law, as envisaged in Congo's National Development Plan, as well as to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 15 - Life on Earth - and 16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions - of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.