UNODC supports Chad’s efforts to combat wildlife trafficking and natural resources-related crimes

31-06-2021

N’DJAMENA   Chad, a country endowed with a wide variety of wildlife and abundant natural, forestry and mining resources, faces significant criminal threats due to poaching and illicit trafficking of its resources. The country enjoys vast mineral deposits of minerals such as gold, iron, bauxite, salt and natron - not to mention copper, tin, tungsten, graffiti and even diamonds and is home to a large elephant population.

However, many of Chad’s current mining activities are illegally exploited by organized crime networks and its wildlife is heavily threatened by poachers and traffickers of ivory. Between 2002 and 2010, poachers killed around 4,000 elephants.

Beyond the damage caused to the environment as well as biodiversity, and the enormous economic loss for the country, the illicit exploitation and trafficking of its natural resources fuel and finance criminal, terrorist and rebel groups operating in the country.

As highlighted by the UNODC Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Dr. Amado Philip de Andrés “Chad is a major transit route for traffickers on their way to neighbouring countries such as Cameroon, Gabon, Congo and Central African Republic due to its geographical location at the gateway of Central African forests. UNODC is committed to environmental protection and the rule of law in the region.”

To strengthen the Chadian authorities' judicial capacity to fight against natural resources-related crimes, UNODC organised three complementary activities in June 2021 in N’Djamena, Chad. The first activity brought together 31 participants from the National Police, Gendarmerie and Customs, Water and Forestry rangers and public prosecutors who elaborated a series of recommendations to strengthen inter-agency cooperation in the fight against the illicit exploitation of natural resources and wildlife crime.

The second activity, a review of the legal and institutional frameworks available to fight wildlife and natural resources-related crimes, enabled authorities from the above-mentioned agencies to start drafting a Rapid Reference Guide for first responders fighting this form of criminality.

Finally, during the third activity, a workshop on crime scene management for first responders, 24 agents from the above-mentioned agencies were trained to adequately elaborate criminal procedural acts for transfer to public prosecutors and to collect evidence that can be used to identify and prosecute co-perpetrators, accomplices and sponsors of these offences.

These activities fall within the implementation of UNODC’s regional project "Strengthening judiciary capacities of ECCAS Member States in the fight against illicit trafficking of natural resources," funded by the European Union (EU) through the ECCAS Reforms and Institutional capacity Strengthening Support Programme (PARCIC).