*-Organization name: Conservation Justice
*-Organization full street address (in your local format): Quartier Ambowè, Libreville, Gabon
*-Organization full mailing address, if different: Conservation Justice, B.P: 23923
*-Work phone with country and area code:
*-Work fax with country and area code:
*-Main email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*-Scholar Email: email@example.com
*-Organization Website URL if any: www.conservation-justice.org
(Photo Right: "On the boat I was going in a joint mission with the National Park Service in Gabon (ANPN) and the Ministry of Waters and Forests in the buffer zone of the Pongara National Park (http://www.parcsgabon.org/decouvrez-les-parcs/les-13-parcs-nationaux/parc-national-de-pongara)."
*-ORGANIZATION’S WORK: My organization, Conservation Justice is a non-governmental NGO. It is a Belgium NGO, which have been carrying activities in Gabon for six years. The Conservation Justice NGO aims to support law enforcement operations to arrest wildlife traffickers and provide with evidence that would help get them prosecuted and sentenced to jail. To that extent, it has an agreement with the Gabonese Government. The organization has five antennae plus one main office in Libreville the Capital city. The antennas are located in provinces close to National Park regions.
*- your personal role in the organization: I have been working in the Conservation community for more than 5 years and have been involved in more than 50 law enforcement operations with my NGO, especially against ivory traffickers. However, law enforcement needs to be valued to help improve public policy. This is why I became to get interested in the tools that contribute to Policy-making, inter alia, GIS. I believe that learning GIS will be an important point because it will allow us to present in a clearer and synthetic way the results that the Conservation Justice NGO has obtained for more than 6 years and which we continue to obtain. Currently, my Job title is 'Technical Coordinator'. That means that I am in charge of coordinating all the programs implemented by the organization. We have two main programs: the Wildlife Law Enforcement Program, and the Forestry Law Enforcement Program. These programs support the Gabonese Government in their effort to combat wildlife trafficking and forestry criminality. As Technical Coordinator, I have several responsibilities:
---coordinating all operations and field activities
---centralizing intelligence information from the investigator
---centralize information on legal prosecutions in an Excel file
---make Policy analyses that would be transmitted to the government
I was previously an Assistant Coordinator with similar responsibilities for three years. Before that, I was a legal advisor. In total, I have spent 5 years working with the Conservation Justice NGO. My work requires frequently field intervention: when monitoring a law enforcement operation, I have to be in the law enforcement team and coordinate their actions, take pictures, avoid leakages as well as corruption attempts. So far I have contributed to 50+ wildlife and forestry law enforcement operations leading to 175+ wildlife traffickers arrests and monitored over 75+ wildlife traffickers trials in Gabon
(Photo Above Right: in the buffer zone of the Pongara National Park: A case on illegal logging by a chinese sawmill company was noticed and we went there to compute all the trees cut down. On the tree behind me, it is written "Seized by the National Parks". It was a case of illegal logging. The timber was seized and sold in a public auction
*-History of your personal work in conservation and GIS: I have been involved in Conservation for five years. My position at the Conservation Justice NGO as a legal advisor was my first job. I the beginning I was just looking for a job after the college. Therefore, I took the position. However, while working, I discovered the world of activism. I became engaged in combating corruption and fighting for good governance. During my days, I did usually hear about GIS but I found it very difficult to learn and I thought it requires a scientific background.
In 2016, I came to the U.S.A to as a Humphrey Fellow at UC Davis with a major interest in Policymaking. Then I discovered GIS as a powerful tool to influence the Policy making process. Dr. Karen Beardsley explained to me that it was actually possible to learn GIS from scratch. Thus, that how I came to take a decision about learning GIS. In December 2016, I attended my first class on GIS, thanks to a 3-Day class taught by Karen Beardsley.
Therefore, my experience with GIS is recent. Nevertheless, I think in the future, it going to become a tool that I will be using more and more in my job and personal vision. I want to use GIS to map out our law enforcement operations and foster good governance back home. Officially, I am an environmental Policy Analyst specializing in wildlife and forestry law enforcement. My work consists of supporting governments through information intelligence, training sessions, operations management, and lawsuit monitoring. My resume says it this way " For the past three years, Mr. Ngalekassaga has served as an Assistant Coordinator for two law enforcement projects in forestry and wildlife conservation. In 2014, he was selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program sponsored by the U.S. State Department. He has contributed to the publication of legal books and several reports on corruption in timber industry and wildlife management in Gabon, Benin and Togo.
Mr. Ngalekassaga holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Law from Université du Sahel, Senegal. Currently, he is a Humphrey Fellow at UC Davis for 2016-2017 with an interest in Natural Resources and Environmental Policy. In his fellowship year, he aims to assess U.S. wildlife and forests management system to replicate relevant outcomes in Gabon. He has so far worked with the California Air Resources Board on the California Scoping Plan to reduce greenhouse gases and is looking forward to having an affiliation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington D.C. "
Photo Right: "One of the requirment of ivory seizures is to mark the tusks with number. So, the pictures of mine standing with ivory are taken from ivory marking sessions after a seizure. The one with me standing up is taken from the case of ivory seizure on a boat that was supposed to ship to Western Africa "
*-ROLE IN THE LOCAL SCGIS CHAPTER: I must say, my connection to the GIS community is very limited as it is very recent. I have been looking for information on Gabon local SGIS chapter without success. At the time, I am looking forward to connecting with people in my country. - At the time, as far as my information is good, there is no local SCGIS local chapter in Gabon. Back home, I will first connect to GIS practitioners to bring out a collaboration and set up a platform for collaboration and mutual exchange. It seems too early to think about creating a local chapter but I guess, in the future, I will aim to do so.
*-Title of the paper you will present: Tracking down the ivory traffickers in Gabon: why elephants need GIS and technology
*-Abstract/summary of the paper you will present: Gabon is full of wildlife species, including one of the largest population of forest elephants in the world. However, these protected animals are poached for ivory and intensively trafficked while measures to combat this scourge remain weak. Despite the declared will of the authorities to combat it, ivory trafficking goes on. The weakness of law enforcement and a lack of consistent public policies are the main factors for this.
By providing clear and searchable data, it is possible to contribute to decision-making and thus push for better law enforcement, which will lead to a reduction in the rate of poaching and trafficking. The Wildlife Law Enforcement Project (Projet d’Appui à l’Application de la Loi, AALF, in French) supports the authorities in enforcing anti-trafficking efforts. To this end, it keeps databases of operations that make it possible to identify all the proven cases of ivory traffics in Gabon. We hold these databases on an Excel file for an internal use. These data are reliable because they are collected directly on the ground by a team of committed activists. The difficulty is that they are not searchable by those who make the decision and so they do not contribute as much as they could.
Hence, converting the AALF Project data in a format accessible to all and translating these results to the decision-makers will lead to better public policies. The web mapping with GIS is a very powerful tool for that.
Thus, it is possible to combine internet technology, GIS systems, and law enforcement operations to improve public policies on ivory trafficking in Gabon. To do this, an effective mapping system must be set up. Moreover, this is what I am committed to doing.