An assessment of poaching and wildlife trafficking in the Garamba-Bili-Chinko Transboundary Landscape

Foreign armed groups, including the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the Janjaweed (a Sudanese militia), and other non-State militias, are the main perpetrators of wildlife poaching and trafficking across Central Africa’s Garamba-Bili-Chinko Landscape, a region that straddles the northwest border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the southwest border of the Central African Republic, according to a new TRAFFIC report. The investigation into the poaching and trafficking of wildlife across the landscape—comprised of the Garamba complex and the Bili complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Chinko reserve in the Central African Republic—reveals the enormous pressure placed on existing wildlife populations in these protected areas, particularly from such highly organized armed groups who are linked to human rights violations and ongoing political instability. The report, “An Assessment of Poaching and Wildlife Trafficking in the Garamba-Bili-Chinko Transboundary Landscape,” produced by TRAFFIC with fieldwork carried out by IUCN as part of the USAID-funded Wildlife Trafficking Response, Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS) Project, is the product of research and discussions in 87 local villages with over 700 people, including administrative authorities, traditional leaders, and law enforcement officers. The authors investigated hunting, poaching and trafficking at various levels—from small-scale subsistence hunting to large-scale organized poaching and smuggling—while also assessing the livelihoods and economic opportunities for local villagers and nomadic herders.