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Regional Program: Mitigating climate change through the fight against corruption in the wildlife sector in West Affrica

Efforts to protect the environment internationally, and in particular to combat climate change, are undermined by the development of organized environmental crime (UNEP, UNODC, OECD and Interpol, 2014), and in particular, the wildlife crimes. Several scientific studies have shown that restoring populations of large mammals (elephants, lions, hippos, white rhinos, panthers, giraffes, etc.), in the wild does not only revitalise the flora and fauna, but also help in mitigating climate change.
Moreover, maintaining the diversity and abundance of animals, especially mammals, is key to ensure a well-functioning carbon cycle and the retention of carbon in soils (Taylor Kubota, October, 2017). Despite this proven importance of mammals in mitigating climate change, the global value of trade in the proceeds of environmental crime is estimated at between US$70 and US$213 billion a year (Interpol, 2014). Every year in Africa, between 20,000 and 25,000 elephants are killed, out of a total population of 420,000 to 650,000. The elephant population is estimated to have declined by nearly 62% between 2002 and 2011 (Interpol, 2014).
West Africa is seriously affected by this international trafficking of wildlife species.
This project aims to contribute to climate change mitigation efforts through the fight against corruption in the wildlife sector and the enhancement of collaboration on wildlife law enforcement in West Africa in order to maintain the diversity and abundance of mammals to ensure a well-functioning carbon cycle and the retention of carbon in soils. 
 

Project objectives 

  • To strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations, journalists and communities to increase evidence and exposure of corruption in environmental crimes;
  • To support 10 enforcement and oversight agencies in mitigating climate change by reducing impunity and increasing redress and reparation for misuse of resources;
  • To increase uptake of business integrity mechanisms amongst environmental sector enterprises. 

Project outcomes: 
(1) Capacities of journalists and key local NGOs, victims and environmental defenders and whistle-blowers are built to increase evidence and exposure of corruption in environmental crimes and supported through our two  ALAC in Lomé and Sokode; (2) 10  governmental enforcement and oversight agencies are supported in mitigating climate change by reducing impunity and increasing  redress and reparation for misuse of resources and (3) Increased uptake of business integrity mechanisms amongst enterprises working in sectors that are threatening the environment and local communities. 

Project activities:

Training and ongoing support to 10 investigative journalists to expose environmental crimes and undue influence joint initiatives to track transborder crimes and advocate for asset recovery; Empowering communities, victims of corruption and environmental defenders and whistle-blowers through our two (02) ALAC in Lomé and Sokode; Supporting 10 enforcement agencies on investigations to identify perpetrators and provide evidence for prosecution and providing them legal assistance in strengthening climate efforts through the fighting corruption in the wildlife sector; advocating for the criminalisation of environmental crimes and asset recovery, higher level of awareness and understanding about the climate crisis; the policy and decision-making processes relating to climate-related action; the existing global agreements for solutions; the corruption risks and conflicts of interest present to climate policy and action and targeted support to strengthen business integrity.
Target groups: 3 Local NGOs, environmental defenders and communities, will be aware and will collaborate with ANCE through information exchange, denunciations of traffickers, and sensitization of the local communities; 10 investigative journalists will be trained and actively involved in investigations of environmental crimes; 10 governmental agencies (High Authority for the Fight Against Corruption (HAPLUCIA), Ministry of environment, Ministry of security, Ministry of trade, Ministry of justice, ORCTRIB, Interpol, Criminal police, jurisdictions); Diplomatic community: cooperation with the US Embassy, the European Delegation and the ECOWAS Embassy; CITES Focal Point; Medias: (10) medias house will be closely involved in this project to disseminate information.
 

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