Grace Farms Foundation today announced it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF), a multilateral law enforcement organization representing eight eastern and southern African countries, dedicated to investigating violations of national laws pertaining to illegal trade in wild fauna and flora, to disrupt poaching and wildlife trafficking in Africa. The partnership will work to combat wildlife crimes by supporting cooperative law enforcement efforts and undertaking capacity building programs at both regional and national levels, with a particular focus on Lusaka Agreement member states.
The illegal wildlife trade is among the largest transnational crimes, often operated by well-organized criminal syndicates, with elephants, rhinos, pangolin scales, and assorted timber seeing the greatest consequences. The collaboration between these two organizations committing to conserving and safeguarding wildlife and forestry species underscores the enhanced need for public and private organizations to work together in the fight against wildlife crime.
“Building strategic partnerships and working together to strengthen the multifaceted initiatives of law enforcement are vital elements to successfully combat the global impact that stems from these wildlife crimes,” said Rod Khattabi, Director of Global Justice Initiative Trainings & Risk Officer at Grace Farms Foundation. “We’re looking forward to contributing our expertise to the heightened the training of these officers to better inform the investigation and prosecution of transnational organized crimes.”
Mark Fowler, former Nature Initiative Director at Grace Farms Foundation added, “We believe that the best way to combat illegal wildlife trade is to directly empower regional and national task forces in Africa. This partnership with LATF is strong step in making this strategy successful.”
“The development of strategic partnerships remains one of LATF’s key focus areas. LATF seeks to strengthen the already existing networks for law enforcement and tap into experiences of Grace Farms Foundation in undertaking law enforcement training, especially in combatting and successfully prosecuting national and transnational organized wildlife crime at local, national and global level,” said Edward Phiri, Director of Lusaka Agreement Task Force.
This MOU builds upon Grace Farms Foundation’s commitment to develop comprehensive strategies and partnerships designed to disrupt and combat all forms of contemporary slavery and wildlife trafficking on a global scale.
Featured in the lead group photo, left to right: Bonaventure Ebayi, former Director, Lusaka Agreement Task Force Director; Shukri Hussein, Liberty Shared Africa Regional General Manager; Mark Fowler, former Grace Farms Foundation Nature Initiative Director; Nancy Kabete, Deputy Director Security Kenya Wildlife Services; Edward Phiri, Director of Lusaka Agreement Task Force; Rod Khattabi, Grace Farms Foundation Director of Global Justice Initiative Trainings & Risk Officer; John Brown, Deputy Attaché HSI U.S. Embassy; Robert Mande, Chairman National Anti-poaching Task Force of the United Republic of Tanzania; Amanda Gore, UNODC; Thomas Tiriongo, Lusaka Agreement Task Force; and Eric Njuguna, Finance Officer, Freeland
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