The problem of elephant poaching and ivory trafficking, which has become alarming in Central Africa, is one of the threats facing UNOCA. The UN Secretary-General regularly draws the attention of Security Council members on this phenomenon. In the recent reports on the activities of UNOCA and in several interventions, the Secretary-General expressed concerns that this criminal activity has become a source of funding for armed groups, including the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
UNOCA's mandate is to work in cooperation with the organizations concerned, in particular the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), to "identify possible measures and develop a regional approach to combat these phenomena of concern". It supports emergency action plans (for North Cameroon, Northeastern Central African Republic and Southern Chad) as well as the Central African anti-poaching strategy developed by ECCAS.
UNOCA also calls for "cross-border cooperation" between the countries in the sub-region in order to find coherent and concerted solutions to this threat, as its economic, ecological and political consequences may affect them. This approach is fundamental, among others, for the protection of the trinational complex Dja-Odzala-Minkébé (TRIDOM), which stretches 141,000 km2 and is home to about 40,000 elephants and covers Cameroon, Congo and Gabon.
In the report to the Security Council on 28 November 2016, the Secretary-General stresses that, despite regular ivory seizures in Central Africa, little progress has been made in dismantling trafficking networks. Few poachers are caught and prosecuted. Discrepancies between national legislative frameworks and their loopholes, institutional gaps, corruption and the limits of criminal justice systems as well as porous borders, are all factors that are exploited by criminal networks involved in weapon, drug and human trafficking, which contribute to perpetuate insecurity in the region.