ON CO-OPERATIVE ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS
DIRECTED AT ILLEGAL TRADE IN WILD FAUNA AND FLORA
ADOPTED ON 8 SEPTEMBER 1994
The parties to this Agreement,
Conscious that the conservation of wild fauna and flora is
essential to the overall maintenance of Africa's biological
diversity and that wild fauna and flora are essential to the
sustainable development of Africa,
Conscious also of the need to reduce and ultimately eliminate
illegal trade in wild fauna and flora,
Recognising that the intense poaching that has resulted in
severe depletion of certain wildlife populations in African States
has been caused by illegal trade, and that poaching will not be
curtailed until such illegal trade is eliminated,
Noting that illegal trade in wild fauna and flora has been
made more sophisticated through the use of superior technology in
transboundary transactions and should be addressed through
commensurate national, regional and international measures,
Recalling the provisions of the African Convention on the
Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (Algiers, 1968), the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora (Washington, 1973), and the Convention on
Biological Diversity (Rio de Janeiro, l992),
Affirming that States are responsible for the conservation of
their wild fauna and flora,
Recognising the need for co-operation among States in law
enforcement to reduce and ultimately eliminate illegal trade in
wild fauna and flora,
Recognising also that sharing of information, training,
experience and expertise among States is vital for effective law
enforcement to reduce and ultimately eliminate illegal trade in
wild fauna and flora,
Desirous of establishing close co-operation among themselves
in order to reduce and ultimately eliminate illegal trade in wild
fauna and flora,
Have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of this Agreement:
"Agreement area" means the area comprised of the land, marine
and coastal areas within the limits of national jurisdiction of
the Parties to this Agreement and shall include their air space
and internal waters.
"Biological diversity" means the variability among living
organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial,
marine and other aquatic ecosystems, and the ecological complexes
of which they are part; this includes diversity within species,
between species and of ecosystems.
"Conservation" means the management of human use of organisms
or ecosystems to ensure such use is sustainable; it also includes
protection, maintenance, rehabilitation, restoration and
"Country of original export" means the country where the
specimens originated and from whose territory they depart or have
"Country of re-export" means the country from whose territory
specimens depart or have departed and that is not the country of
origin of the specimens.
"Field Officer" means a member of a Government organisation,
department or institution who is employed as a law enforcement
officer with national law enforcement jurisdiction, and who is
seconded to the Task Force.
"Governing Council" means the Governing Council established
under Article 7 of this Agreement.
"Illegal trade" means any cross-border transaction, or any
action in furtherance thereof, in violation of national laws of a
Party to this Agreement for the protection of wild fauna and
"National Bureau" means a governmental entity with the
competence encompassing law enforcement, designated or established
by a Party to this Agreement under Article 6.
"Party" means a State for which this Agreement has entered
"Specimen" means any animal or plant, alive or dead, as well
as any derivative thereof, of any species of wild fauna and flora.
"Task Force" means the Task Force established under Article 5
of this Agreement.
"Wild fauna and flora" means wild species of animals and
plants subject to the respective national laws of the Parties
governing conservation, protection and trade.
The objective of this Agreement is to reduce and ultimately
eliminate illegal trade in wild fauna and flora and to establish a
permanent Task Force for this purpose.
This Agreement shall apply to the Agreement area as defined in
Obligations of the Parties
1. The Parties shall, individually and / or jointly, take
appropriate measures in accordance with this Agreement to
investigate and prosecute cases of illegal trade.
2. Each Party shall co-operate with one another and with the
Task Force to ensure the effective implementation of this
3. Each Party shall provide the Task Force on a regular basis
with relevant information and scientific data relating to illegal
4. Each Party shall provide the Task Force with technical
assistance relating to its operations, as needed by the Task
5. Each Party shall accord to the Director, Field Officers and
the Intelligence Officer of the Task Force while engaged in
carrying out the functions of the Task Force in accordance with
paragraph 9 of Article 5, the relevant privileges and immunities,
including those specified under paragraph 11 of Article 5.
6. Each Party shall protect information designated as
confidential that becomes available to any of the Parties in
connection with the implementation of this Agreement. Such
information shall be used exclusively for the purposes of
implementing this Agreement.
7. Each Party shall encourage public awareness campaigns aimed
at enlisting public support for the objective of this Agreement,
and the said campaigns shall be so designed as to encourage public
reporting of illegal trade.
8. Each Party shall adopt and enforce such legislative and
administrative measures as may be necessary for the purposes of
giving effect to this Agreement.
9. Each Party shall return to the country of original export
or country of re-export any specimen of species of wild fauna and
flora confiscated in the course of illegal trade, provided that:
(a) the country of original export of the specimen(s) can be
(b) the country of re-export is able to show evidence that the
specimen(s) re-exported were imported by that country in
accordance with the provisions of the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora governing
import and re-export; and
(c) the costs of returning such specimens of wild fauna and
flora are borne by the country receiving the specimen(s), unless
there is an alternative offer to bear costs to which both the
Party returning the specimen(s) and the Party receiving the
10. Each Party shall pay its contribution to the budget of the
Task Force as determined by the Governing Council.
11. Each Party shall report to the Governing Council on
implementation of its obligations under this Agreement at
intervals as determined by the Governing Council.
1. A Task Force is hereby established to be known as the Task
Force for Co-operative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal
Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora.
2. The Task Force shall be composed of a Director, Field
Officers and an Intelligence Officer and such other staff as may
be decided by the Governing Council.
3. The Task Force shall include at least one Field Officer
seconded by each Party and approved by the Governing Council. Each
Field Officer shall be appointed to serve for a term of three
years, or such other term as may be determined by the Governing
Council. Upon the recommendation of the Director made in
consultation with the Party concerned, the Governing Council may
shorten or increase the term of other Field Officers.
4. The Director shall be appointed by the Governing Council
from among the Field Officers.
5. The Director and other Field Officers shall retain their
national law enforcement authority during their time of service
with the Task Force.
6. The appointment of the Director, other Field Officers and
the Intelligence Officer, as well as their terms of service, shall
be decided in accordance with rules established by the Governing
Council. The terms and conditions of service of other support
staff as deemed necessary for the functioning of the Task Force
shall also be decided by the Governing Council.
7. The Director shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the
Task Force and shall be accountable to the Governing Council and
(a) appointing other support staff as deemed necessary for the
functioning of the Task Force;
(b) commanding and coordinating the work of the Task Force;
(c) preparing budgets annually or as required by the Governing
(d) implementing policies and decisions agreed by the
(e) providing reports annually and as required by the
(f) arranging for and servicing meetings of the Governing
(g) performing such other functions as may be determined by
the Governing Council.
8. The Task Force shall possess international legal
personality. It shall have in the territory of each Party the
legal capacity required for the performance of its functions under
this Agreement. The Task Force shall in the exercise of its legal
personality be represented by the Director.
9. The functions of the Task Force shall be:
(a) to facilitate co-operative activities among the National
Bureaus in carrying out investigations pertaining to illegal
(b) to investigate violations of national laws pertaining to
illegal trade, at the request of the National Bureaus or with the
consent of the Parties concerned, and to present to them evidence
gathered during such investigations;
(c) to collect, process and disseminate information on
activities that pertain to illegal trade, including establishing
and maintaining databases;
(d) to provide, upon request of the Parties concerned,
available information related to the return to the country of
original export, or country of re-export, of confiscated wild
fauna and flora; and
(e) to perform such other functions as may be determined by
the Governing Council.
10. In carrying out its functions, the Task Force, when
necessary and appropriate, may use undercover operations, subject
to the consent of the Parties concerned and under conditions
agreed with the said Parties.
11. For the purposes of paragraph 9 of this Article, the
Director, other Field Officers and the Intelligence Officer of the
Task Force shall enjoy, in connection with their official duties
and strictly within the limits of their official capacities, the
following privileges and immunities:
(a) immunity from arrest, detention, search and seizure, and
legal process of any kind in respect of words spoken or written
and all acts performed by them; they shall continue to be so
immune after the completion of their functions as officials of the
(b) inviolability of all official papers, documents and
(c) exemption from all visa requirements and entry
(d) protection of free communication to and from the
headquarters of the Task Force;
(e) exemption from currency or exchange restrictions as is
accorded representatives of foreign governments on temporary
official missions; and
(f) such other privileges and immunities as may be determined
by the Governing Council.
12. Privileges and immunities are granted to the Director,
other Field Officers and the Intelligence Officer in the interests
of the Task Force and not for the personal benefit of the
individuals themselves. The Governing Council shall have the right
and the duty to waive the immunity of any official in any case
where, in the opinion of the Governing Council, the immunity would
impede the course of justice and it can be waived without
prejudice to the interests of the Task Force.
13. The Task Force shall not undertake or be involved in any
intervention, or activities of a political, military, religious or
1. To facilitate the implementation of this Agreement, each
(a) designate or establish a governmental entity as its
(b) inform the Depositary, within two months of the date of
the entry into force of the Agreement for this Party, the entity
it has designated or established as its National Bureau; and
(c) inform the Depositary within one month of any decision to
change the designation or establishment of its National Bureau.
2. For the purposes of this Agreement, the functions of the
National Bureaus shall be to:
(a) provide to and receive from the Task Force information on
illegal trade; and
(b) coordinate with the Task Force on investigations that
involve illegal trade.
1. A Governing Council consisting of the Parties to this
Agreement is hereby established to be known as the Governing
Council for Co-operative Enforcement Operations Directed at
Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora.
2. Each Party shall send a delegation to the meetings of the
Governing Council and shall be represented on the Governing
Council by a Minister or alternate who shall be the head of the
delegation. Because of the technical nature of the Task Force,
Parties should endeavour to include the following in their
(a) high ranking officials dealing with wildlife law
(b) officials whose normal duties are connected with the
activities of the Task Force; and
(c) specialists in the subjects on the agenda.
3. The first meeting of the Governing Council shall be
convened by the Executive Director of the United Nations
Environment Programme not later than three months after the entry
into force of this Agreement. Thereafter, ordinary meetings of the
Governing Council shall be held at regular intervals to be
determined by the Council at its first meeting.
4. Meetings of the Governing Council will normally be held at
the Seat of the Task Force unless the Council decides otherwise.
5. Extraordinary meetings of the Governing Council shall be
held at such times as may be determined by the Council, or at the
written request of any Party, provided that such request is
supported by at least one third of the Parties within two months
of the request being communicated to them by the Director of the
6. At its first meeting, the Governing Council shall:
(a) by consensus elect its Chairperson and adopt rules of
procedure, including decision-making procedures, which may include
specified majorities required for adoption of particular
(b) decide the Seat of the Task Force;
(c) consider and approve the appointment of the Director,
other Field Officers and the Intelligence Officer and decide upon
their terms and conditions of service as well as the terms and
conditions of service of the supporting staff;
(d) adopt terms of reference and financial and administrative
rules of the Task Force; and
(e) consider and approve an initial budget to establish and
operate the Task Force and agree upon the contributions of each
Party to the budget.
7. At ordinary meetings the Governing Council shall approve a
budget for the Task Force and agree upon the contributions of each
Party to the budget.
8. The Governing Council shall determine the general policies
of the Task Force and, for this purpose, shall:
(a) consider the reports submitted by the Director; and
(b) upon expiry, termination or renewal of their terms of
service, consider and approve the appointment of the Director,
other Field Officers and the Intelligence Officer.
9. The Governing Council shall:
(a) keep under review the implementation of this Agreement;
(b) consider and undertake any additional action that may be
deemed necessary for the achievement of the objective of this
Agreement in the light of experience gained in its operation; and
(c) consider and adopt, as required, in accordance with
Article 11, amendments to this Agreement.
1. There shall be a budget for the Task Force.
2. The financial management of the Task Force shall be
governed by the financial rules adopted by the Governing Council.
3. The Governing Council shall determine the mode of payment
and currencies of contributions by the Parties to the budget of
the Task Force. Other resources of the Task Force may include
extra budgetary resources such as grants, donations, funds for
projects and programmes and technical assistance.
4. The Parties undertake to pay annually their agreed
contributions to the budget of the Task Force by a specified date
as determined by the Governing Council.
5. The Unit of Account in which the budget will be prepared
shall be determined by the Governing Council.
1. The Seat of the Task Force shall be determined by the
Governing Council pursuant to an offer made by a Party.
2. The Government of the Party in whose territory the Seat of
the Task Force shall be located and the Director acting on behalf
of the Task Force shall conclude a headquarters agreement relating
to the legal capacity of the Task Force and the privileges and
immunities of the Task Force, Director, other Field Officers and
the Intelligence Officer, which privileges and immunities shall
not be less than those accorded to diplomatic missions and their
personnel in the host country, and including those privileges and
immunities stipulated in paragraph 11 of Article 5.
3. The Government aforementioned shall assist the Task Force
in the acquisition of affordable accommodation for its use.
Settlement of Disputes
1. Any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of
this Agreement which cannot be settled by negotiation,
conciliation or other peaceful means may be referred by any Party
thereto to the Governing Council.
2. Where the Parties fail to settle the dispute the matter
shall be submitted to an arbitral body.
3. The Parties to the dispute shall appoint one arbitrator
each; the arbitrators so appointed shall designate, by mutual
consent, a neutral arbitrator as Chairperson who shall not be a
national of any of the Parties to the dispute.
4. If any of the Parties does not appoint an arbitrator within
three months of the appointment of the first arbitrator, or if the
Chairperson has not been designated within three months of the
matter being referred to arbitration, the Chairperson of the
Governing Council shall designate the arbitrator or the
Chairperson or both, as the case may be, within a further period
of three months.
5. The arbitral body shall have jurisdiction to hear and
determine any matter arising from a dispute.
6. The arbitral body shall determine its own rules of
7. The Parties to the dispute shall be bound by the arbitral
1. Amendments to the Agreement may be proposed by any Party
and communicated in writing to the Director of the Task Force who
shall transmit the proposals to all Parties. The Director shall
also communicate proposed amendments to the signatories to this
Agreement for information.
2. No proposal for amendment shall be considered by the
Governing Council unless it is received by the Director at least
one hundred and twenty days before the opening day of the meeting
at which it is to be considered.
3. Amendments to the Agreement shall be adopted at a meeting
of the Governing Council. If all efforts at consensus have been
exhausted, and no agreement reached, the amendment shall as a last
resort be adopted by a two-third majority vote of the Parties
present and voting at the meeting. Amendments shall take effect,
with respect to the Parties, on the thirtieth day after their
adoption by the Governing Council. Amendments adopted shall be
notified to the Depositary forthwith.
Signature, Ratification, Acceptance,
Approval or Accession
1. This Agreement shall be open for signature on 9 September
1994 by all African States at the Ministerial Meeting to conclude
this Agreement in Lusaka, and thereafter from 12 September to
12 December 1994 at the Headquarters of the United Nations
Environment Programme in Nairobi, and from 13 December 1994 to
13 March 1995 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
2. This Agreement shall be subject to ratification, acceptance
3. This Agreement shall remain open for accession by any
African State from the day after the date on which the Agreement
is closed for signature.
4. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or
accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the
Entry into Force
1. This Agreement shall enter into force on the sixtieth day
after the date of the deposit of the fourth instrument of
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
2. For each Party which ratifies, accepts, approves or accedes
to this Agreement after the deposit of the fourth instrument of
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, this Agreement
shall enter into force on the sixtieth day after the date of
deposit by such Party of its instrument of ratification,
acceptance, approval or accession.
1. At any time after five years from the date on which this
Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may
withdraw from the Agreement by giving written notification to the
2. Any such withdrawal shall take place upon the expiry of one
year after the date of its receipt by the Depositary, or on such
later date as may be specified in the notification of the
withdrawal provided, however, that any obligation incurred by the
Party prior to its withdrawal shall remain valid for that Party.
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall assume
the functions of Depositary of this Agreement.
2. The Depositary shall notify all Parties to this Agreement
(a) the deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession in accordance with Article 12;
(b) the designation or establishment of National Bureaus in
accordance with Article 6:
(c) the amendments adopted in accordance with Article 11; and
(d) withdrawal in accordance with Article 14.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised
thereto by their respective governments, have signed this
Done at Lusaka on this ninth day of September, one thousand
nine hundred and ninety-four.