Project to Apply the Law on Fauna : First annual report

Here are the first results for PALF (Project to Apply the law on Fauna), a successful project developped by The Aspinall and Foundation and WCS in Republic of Congo

Investigations

266 investigative missions of varying duration were carried out across Brazzaville’s seven departments.

Operations

17 operations carried out across Brazzaville’s departments resulted in the interception of 19 traffickers, i.e. an average of one trafficker intercepted every 19 days ;

The percentage of traffickers serving a prison-sentence following these operations is 68%.

Legal

16 cases were brought before the court of which 5 resulted in a sentence:

o   In March 2009, a trafficker caught selling a live chimpanzee was sentenced to one year in prison, plus an additional fine of 100,000 FCFA and 1,000,000 FCFA in damages ;

o   In August 2009, an ivory sculptor was given a suspended sentence of three years in prison, plus an additional fine of 500,000 FCFA and 800,000 FCFA in damages;

o   Two detainees were released due to a lack of incriminating evidence and three others were given a suspended sentence and were also fined.

The project created a legal guide entitled « Wildlife law for the protection of endangered animals in the Republic of Congo” and has since distributed 600 copies.

Media

293 articles have been released (TV, Radio, written press), an average of 0.75 articles per day. This daily average increased to 1.25 articles following the recruitment of a journalist to the project in March 2009.

 Main points of note

One gorilla and three chimpanzees were seized from traffickers and transferred to the Lesio-Louna Natural Gorilla Reserve (www.ppg-congo.org), the Tchimpounga chimpanzee sanctuary and Help-Congo, respectively. In addition, one mandrill skin and hand and one gorilla hand were also seized.

8 operations were conducted as part of a mission to target the illegal trade in panther pelts.

6 operations were carried out targeting the trade in ivory.

2 of these operations concerned African expat citizens.

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