Investigators, 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.

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. 

 

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

LAGA 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.

 

LAGA is the first Wildlife Law Enforcement NGO in Africa and unique in the world in its approach and activities, working in close collaboration with Governments.

LAGA started with a baseline of Zero prosecutions under the wildlife law in almost all the countries of West and Central Africa. Zero is quite a strong baseline that was kept stable for a decade with existence of sufficient laws.

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.

EAGLE Network

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 significant wildlife traffickers arrested and serving a deterring punishment, is possible. Unfortunately baseline for this indicator is still zero in many 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 in eight other countries, forming EAGLE Network, starting with the PALF project in Congo Brazzaville and AALF project in Gabon under the NGO Conservation Justice. AALF-B operates in Benin since 2014 under Nature Tropicale, EAGLE Togo, EAGLE Senegal and EAGLE Côte d’Ivoire are the latest members of the Network. Meanwhile, Uganda and Burkina Faso are in the process of preparation.

  

The LAGA - MINFOF Collaboration

 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.

 

 

Activity report April 2020

Activity report April 2020
Despite the challenges and risk posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the fear it brings, the LAGA team intelligently multiplied its efforts resulting in a total of 8 wildlife traffickers arrested during 4 operations. 2 young mandrills rescued during 2 arrest operations, in Yaounde and Lolodorf in the South Region. 4 traffickers arrested with a leopard skin in the border town of Kye- Ossi, in the South Region. A pangolin scales trafficker was arrested with 50 kg of scales in Dimako, in the East Region. The team diligently and creatively carried out investigations and assisted 4 wildlife law enforcement operations with an emphasis on respecting state-level and organization-level protective measures against Covid-19.

Activity report March 2020

Activity report March 2020
As a precautionary measure, the LAGA office was closed for five days after a member reported high fever and he was later found to have malaria dissipating fears of a COVID-19 infection. The Deputy Director held a meeting with Global Earth Watch President and a consultant who were visiting the country. An investigator from Gabon returned to Libreville following a three-week long training and experience sharing mission.

Activity report February 2020

Activity report February 2020
A trafficker arrested in Bandjoun, West Region, with 5 large leopard skins A new Head of the Media Department was appointed by the Director. The Deputy Director attended an Interpol meeting aimed at setting state-level priorities and needs for effective operations. The LAGA family traveled to Batie in the West Region to participate in the funeral activities of a former investigator who passed away after a protracted illness.

Activism

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