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The magistracy of Madagascar strengthens and improves its capacity to fight corruption and wildlife trafficking

The uniqueness of Madagascar's mega-diverse biodiversity makes it highly coveted on the international market.

The rarer a species becomes, the more it is trafficked. Over the last few decades, the country has seen an upsurge in the illegal trade of wild species, including the Madagascar endemic turtles and lemurs recently seized in Thailand. These criminal acts against biodiversity are often exacerbated by corruption, which facilitates the various circuits from the country of origin to the final recipients. Recent investigations have revealed the existence of wildlife crime networks stretching from Madagascar to Asia, Europe and the USA.
Threats to our exceptional biodiversity persist and are increasingly crossing borders. Conservationists, in support of the entities and bodies in charge of enforcing laws and repressive measures, maintain their efforts towards a common vision: to protect natural resources and fight against corruption and illegal trafficking. A collaboration that calls on different areas of expertise to address different challenges in order to converge towards a result that will benefit biodiversity and the Malagasy people.
Under the leadership of the « Direction de la Formation Continue, de l'E-learning et du Partenariat de l'École Nationale de la Magistrature et des Greffes (ENMG) », practicing magistrates are currently following a capacity-building program on : 1) the fight against corruption and wildlife trafficking - 2) the fight against transnational organized crime and investigation techniques and 3) financial investigation. These training series will be held between May 15, 2024 and mid-July 2024. The aim is to reinforce their theoretical and operational skills in wildlife trafficking and related corruption, and to improve their understanding of relevant national and international laws and regulations, as well as awareness, detection and handling of related corruption cases. Two further modules are also planned for the near future.
Voahirana Randriambola from WWF Madagascar was keen to reiterate the need for this training: “The decline in biodiversity is everyone's business, everyone has their share of responsibility, everyone has their key role to play in stopping it. And in the case of biodiversity offences, the judiciary has the final word. You are a key element in the preservation of Madagascar's natural capital, and this particular and difficult role that you have, nobody else can do it for you. What we can do within the: “Combatting corruption and wildlife trafficking” project to help you assume this responsibility is to equip you with the appropriate knowledge, both theoretical and practical”.
The Ministry of Justice added: “The value of our natural resources illegally traded abroad has probably already reached billions, to the great detriment of the country. Faced with this trafficking and degradation of biodiversity, this training and capacity-building for magistrates is more than relevant, because let's not forget that traffickers will do the same to circumvent justice. I hope this training will help us to improve Madagascar's biodiversity”.