Law Enforcement

In September 2019, a Priority Intervention Plan was initiated in W. This agreement, between the Benin Government, West African Savannah Foundation (FSOA), and African Parks, aimed to improve law enforcement capacity and training, rehabilitate existing infrastructure, and strengthen collaboration with local communities. A Joint Intelligence and Operations room was installed for more coordinated law enforcement efforts across the WAP Complex. The fourth Basic Field Ranger training session was completed, with 32 new rangers joining the now 114-strong field ranger team. A total of 634 arrests, of which 74 were active poachers, were accomplished. Nine elephant carcasses were found inside the park, but only two were confirmed poached. Four kilograms of ivory were confiscated and the ivory sellers were sentenced to 13 months’ imprisonment.

Illegal hunting and fishing as well as agricultural pressure are major threats to many species in the park. Shooting and snaring of antelope for local and national sale bushmeat is common and carnivores are targeted to reduce threats to livestock. Poaching of elephants for ivory is rare. Law enforcement efforts to reduce these threats to the ecosystem need to be done in conjunction with the local communities surrounding the park, as well as communicating with their counterparts across the borders in Niger and Burkina Faso.