The Justice Department dispatches teams to Mozambique and Ghana to provide training for local leaders in efforts to reduce timber trafficking

Timber Trafficking’s Multifaceted Impact

Timber trafficking exacts a toll on wildlife, the environment, and communities, negatively impacting U.S. markets and the global economy.

Furthermore, it has become a conduit for funding illicit activities and terrorism.

Justice Department’s Commitment

Addressing illegal timber harvesting is a top priority for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD).

In response, the Division established the TIMBER Enforcement Working Group, demonstrating its commitment to investigating and prosecuting crimes related to timber trafficking.

Global Collaboration in Action

To combat this pervasive issue, Division personnel actively engage in international collaboration.

They travel worldwide to work closely with prosecutors and law enforcement officials, fostering global cooperation in tackling timber trafficking.

ENRD’s Outreach in Mozambique

In a recent initiative, ENRD personnel, in collaboration with U.S. Forest Service officers, conducted a workshop in Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique.

Aimed at local leaders, the workshop addressed strategies to combat timber trafficking.

Participants, including customs officers, forest rangers, police, magistrates, and prosecutors, benefited from the collective expertise of approximately 25 government officials.

Building on Prior Training

This Mozambique workshop built upon previous training efforts and drew insights from experts both within Mozambique and across the globe.

The emphasis on collaborative learning and sharing of expertise underscores the comprehensive approach required to combat timber trafficking effectively.

ENRD’s Involvement in Ghana

Simultaneously, ENRD prosecutors were actively engaged in Ghana, leading a course on “Combatting Forestry Crimes and Illegal Logging.”

This course, conducted at the International Law Enforcement Academy’s regional training center in Accra, involved discussions on law enforcement techniques and prosecution strategies.

Regional Collaboration in Accra

Working alongside law enforcement officers from the U.S. Forest Service, ENRD attorneys shared insights with police, prosecutors, and judges from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo.

This regional collaboration signifies a collective effort to strengthen the capacity for addressing forestry crimes and illegal logging.

Training Initiatives in Ghana

ENRD’s commitment to combatting illegal timber trafficking is further exemplified by the leadership of Ryan Connors and Leigh Rende.

They spearheaded an illegal timber trafficking training session in Ghana for law enforcement officials, contributing to the ongoing efforts to curb this environmental menace.

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