The UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 14, 16 and 17 by supporting member states in improving port security by strengthening their criminal justice chain . Ports in Madagascar, as in many other parts of the world, are the lifeblood of the economy and, in many cases, central to food security. Improving port governance and security is a means to increase the potential for legitimate economic activity, reducing the opportunity for illicit actors to exploit port infrastructure for illegal trade.
With Financial support from the European Union (EU)UNODC through its Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) in collaboration with , The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and INTERPOL, are implementing a programme on Port Security and Safety of Navigation in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean Commission is coordinating this project across nine countries in the region:Angola, Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles and Tanzania.
Between June and July 2022, more than 110 officers working at the ports of Toamasina and Mahajanga in Madagascar participated in a total of four weeks of training organized by UNODC. The officers represented all agencies present at the Port: Gendarmerie Nationale, Police Nationale, Marine Nationale, Immigration, Douane, Brigade de pompiers, Agence Portuaire,,Maritime et Fluviale (APMF) and La Société du Port à Gestion Autonome de Toamasina (SPAT) as well as private actors at the port, like container terminal and port operation representatives.
Such trainings have immediate positive impact, for instance, on 13 July 2022, one day after the closing of the Mahajanga training block, a joint team of officers working in the port who had attended the training intercepted the smuggling of 36 radiated tortoises, which are native to southern Madagascar and classified as critically endangered by the IUCN. The tortoises were on their way to Comoros to be trafficked further to the Asian continent, which is a common trafficking route for such species.
“This interception is a direct result of the training delivered by UNODC,” said Mr. Jean-Edmond RANDRIANANTENAINA, the Director General of APMF. The Director General further explained that illicit trafficking is increasing in the region, including into and out of Madagascar, and that UNODC’s support in building capacity is greatly appreciated and plays a key role giving ports the tools needed to help counter that trend.