UNODC has been working collaboratively with national authorities across Central Africa to develop a series of tailor-made Rapid Reference Guides (RRGs) for investigators and prosecutors of wildlife and forest crime.
Transnational illicit trafficking of protected species, forest products and other natural resources is one of the most worrying threats to security, peace and sustainable development in Central Africa.
Wildlife and forest crime facilitates corruption by undermining the capacity of law enforcement to defend national interests and is one of the most profitable sources of funding for criminal organisations and rebel groups who take advantage of legislative gaps and lack of law enforcement capacity to prevent, detect, investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate these crimes.
In response to these regional and national challenges, UNODC has assisted Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Member States with the development of the RRGs in a collaborative way through a series of workshops with the active involvement of key law enforcement and prosecution actors and the support of relevant partners. This participatory approach was essential to share best practices and strengthen collaboration and operational information exchange between investigators and prosecutors to ensure that those conducting the investigations gather the information required by the prosecution to build a strong case.
According to the Regional Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for West and Central Africa, Dr Amado Philip de Andrés: “In all its forms, Transnational Organized Crime has a major impact on stability, security, and development. In this context, efforts aimed at combating illicit wildlife trafficking at all levels should be boosted."