Togo Support to the Wildlife Law Enforcement (TALFF)
This project goal is to protect endangered species of the Republic of Togo against wildlife crime by strengthening the implementation of the wildlife law and deterring potential poachers and species traffickers.
Official website : http://talff-enforcement.org/
The aim of this project is to protect chimpanzees in addition to other threatened species in Togo and its region from illegal hunting and wildlife trade by increasing the level of wildlife law enforcement nationwide and deterring potential ape and elephant poachers and wildlife traffickers from conducting these activities. Togo has been of great concern as a wildlife trafficking hotspot for several years. Many investigations in Central Africa points at Togo as a trafficking hotspot, mainly due to its hosting of the biggest deep water port in the region and one of the busiest airports.
The chimpanzee is possibly extinct in Togo, and while there is potential in recovering populations that can migrate across neighboring borders, Togo’s trafficking activities are detrimental to chimp populations in west Africa. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lome_Fetish_Market.jpg).
The most immediate threat to most chimpanzee populations is the illegal trade. In the past laws have not been properly enforced and hence the trade, and the slaughter, have been commonplace. Collaboration between ANCE and LAGA (www.laga-enforcement.org) will work closely with the Ministry of Environment and Forest Resources (MERF) and other government agencies to bring about the effective enforcement of these laws. This not only curtails the operations of those illegal wildlife exploiters who are prosecuted, but as awareness spreads, it will act as a deterrent and reduce the overall level of illegal hunting and trade.
In order to achieve these goals, the objectives of the TALFF (Togo Application des Lois sur la Faune et la Flore) project are:
- To identify large-scale dealers in ivory and meat, and other illegal wildlife products, and provide evidence to support legal action against them.
- To bring about the arrest of large-scale illegal wildlife traders.
- To ensure the prosecution of large-scale illegal wildlife traders, and that sentences are handed down and served.
- To raise public awareness of the increased enforcement of wildlife law and the risks and penalties for wildlife criminals.
This project will meet these objectives through five broad activities:
- INVESTIGATIONS – to identify perpetrators and provide evidence for prosecution.
- OPERATIONS – to ensure the arrest of perpetrators whilst engaged in the criminal act
- LEGAL ASSISTANCE– to ensure that convictions are achieved and sentences served
- MEDIA PROMOTION – to raise public awareness that wildlife law is actively enforced
- REPORTING – to ensure openness and provide necessary information for replication.
The results of these activities will be frequent arrests and prosecutions for wildlife crimes involving apes, elephants and other species, an increased national capacity to enforce wildlife laws, an increased public awareness of improved enforcement, and hence a reduced demand for illegally hunted apes, elephants and other threatened species in the region.