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Monday, August 31, 2015
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  LAGA -The Last Great Ape Organization

 

Today LAGA has built legitimacy for a new model of interaction between an NGO and Government . Seven months after its registration LAGA brought about the first wildlife prosecution in Cameroon. From 2006, every week a major illegal wildlife dealer has been arrested, around 87% of these are behind bars from the moment of arrest with no bail granted. Prosecutions are satisfying and have reached the maximum jail term of 3 years. Damages awarded have reached $200,000 for a wildlife case. Media efforts result every year in 365 media pieces put on TV, radio and written press - one per day.

The Government of Cameroon is one of the few parties of CITES (the UN Convention on Trade in Endangered Species) to include an NGO on the delegation and went further to nominate LAGA for the Bavin international Award. An award LAGA received by the Secretary General of the convention. 

 

LAGA was commended for its achievements in wildlife law enforcement and for its impact in the larger context through various recommendation letters.

 

REPLICATION  

Experience from Cameroon has proven that enforcing existing wildlife laws and providing measurable standards for the effectiveness of the enforcement, that is the number of major wildlife law violators receiving and serving a deterring punishment, is possible. Unfortunately baseline for this indicator is still zero in most countries in the Central and Western African Sub-regions highlighting the need for the extension of the LAGA model. The model has already been set up under the PALF project in Congo Brazzaville and the RALF project in Central Africa Republic with arrests and prosecutions carried out. In Gabon, the AALF project is responsible for replication under the NGO Conservation Justice. Apart of Central Africa, the model is on-going in Togo under the TALFF project, in Guinea - Conakry under the GALF project and in Senegal under the WARA project. Meanwhile, Chad and Nigeria are still in the process.

 

The LAGA-MINFOF COLLABORATION

BACKGROUND     

 ·    The Last Great Ape organization (LAGA) was born because the survival of Africa’s great apes demanded urgent action. Without it, the great apes and many other endangered species will soon become extinct. LAGA was registered in Israel in December 2002 and operates in Cameroon. It is a field-based organization designed to establish the effective enforcement of local wildlife law that is critical to the survival of the threatened animals.

 

·         The Cameroonian Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) made the courageous decision to go ahead with a pilot project in collaboration with LAGA. The collaboration seeks to create a successful model that will provide the missing ingredient in the wildlife conservation formula: creating a deterrent factor.

             

·            LAGA is the first specialized Law Enforcement NGO in the sub-region. It focuses on threatened species and mainly on the dealers, the primary generators of the illegal bushmeat business, the ivory trade and the pet trade.

 

LAGA’s DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES:

·      INVESTIGATIONInvestigators, undercover agents and informers gather precise information so that dealers in meat and the products of threatened species can be arrested in the act, producing concrete evidence for the courts.

·        OPERATIONS – LAGA technically assists MINFOF and the Forces of Law and Order to arrest violators and to channel complaint reports to the courts. LAGA closely supervises operations in the field.  

·         LEGAL ASSISTANCELAGA formed a legal team to assist in the administrative procedures of prosecuting the first wildlife cases known in the courts of Cameroon.

·      MEDIALAGA puts newsflashes into national TV news, national radio news and written press concerning the success of the operations and positive court rulings. The Cameroonian media informs the public that the law is actively enforced, thereby achieving education of the public on the change, increasing deterrent, and classification of the illegal trade in endangered wildlife as criminal.
  Monthly Action
 
July 2015 reports

Highlights
  • 2 ape skull traffickers arrested but were curiously released by the Regional Delegate without prosecution on grounds that the skulls were very old.
  • 3 ivory trafficking suspects arrested with 2 kg illicit gold, in an important link between the two illegal trades.
  • LAGA first semester report covering January – June 2015 published online




June 2015 reports


Highlights

  • A total of 7 major traffickers were arrested in 5 separate operations.
  • 3 major wildlife traffickers arrested in Yaounde and Douala with big hauls of carved ivory.
  • 2 ape traffickers arrested in the Centre region trafficking ape skulls from supply zones
  • An activist from India arrived for collaboration with the LAGA team and a Senegalese investigator arrived for a month-long training session.
  • LAGA’s head of the investigation department returned to Cameroon after a training and arrest operation support in Senegal.






Click here for full Reports





  click pictures for reports

 
























































                    

 

   
 

 

                  

 


 

First Semester report 2015 New!
Annual Report 2014 New!

 


 The LAGA Family is less than a dozen activists. An NGO without a single vehicle. In a world of multi-nationals among the conservation industry giants, LAGA is proud to be small and slim.  Follow this link 


                

  Action Videos

 

LAGA-MINFOF Ivory operation Douala

 

The Littoral Regional Delegation for National Security has arrested 2 wildlife dealers in Douala for trafficking in 1 ton of ivory about to be exported to international black market. The Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in collaboration with the Judiciary and LAGA is establishing a case file against these ivory traffickers who are now behind bars. This, in conformity with the law of 1994, governing the wildlife sector in Cameroon. None is above the law !!! click here for more

 

FRANCE 24 - Reporters Broadcasts LAGA 

 

France 24 broadcasts the activities of LAGA in enforcing the wildlife law in Cameroon. Enforcing wildlife law in a country ruled by corruption is not easy to go smoothly. This episode narrates an ivory operation and the kidnap of a LAGA investigator by notorious ivory traffickers. Follow the story as you click on the play button above.

 

 

Arrest of Italian timber logging director 



The Central Delegation for National Security and the agents of Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife working in collaboration with The Last Great Ape Organisation arrested an Italian logging director in illegal possession of 3 live chimpanzees which according to the 1994 wildlife law is a crime. This is punishable by either a 1 year prison term or a fine of up to 10 million CFA francs.   click here for more

 

 Future for Nature Award

Interview with Ofir, the Director of LAGA on LAGA's activities, achievements and inspiration. One of the most awaited achievements Ofir seeks to see is working together with many countries beside those of the sub region to get wildlife traffickers behind bars. The Director in this interview also thinks that the larger problem is not just the wildlife criminals but the current trends in conservation. Watch more of this interview by clicking the play button above. click here for more



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