Based in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, Naftali is the coordinator of PALF (Project for the Application of Law for Fauna) in Congo, working under The Aspinall Foundation (TAF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS); he is also President of EAGLE‐U.S. and a founding director of the EAGLE Network.
Naftali took over the first replication of the LAGA model in 2009, leading a consortium of the two aforementioned NGOs and the Congolese Ministry of Forestry to sign a MoU in 2010. He also received an authorization from the Congolese Supreme Court to work with Courts and Prisons across the country to support the application of wildlife law as per the LAGA model. Since then, many groundbreaking arrests and prosecutions have taken place including those of well‐connected wildlife dealers, international smugglers, corrupt park rangers and other officials and notorious poachers. In collaboration with other projects following the LAGA model, now organized under the EAGLE Network, Naftali has worked on international investigations in addition to the dozens of cases per year followed by PALF.
Naftali has also presented this work widely, at meetings, press conferences and training on four continents, highlighting the significance of governance and the importance of tackling corruption in order to fight environmental crime. Some examples include training for Customs officials in Malaysia, a speech about the Denver ivory crush at the U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville and a PowerPoint at the ZSL London Symposium. Naftali has also lectured at the university in Brazzaville to law students about the realities of corruption in the judicial system and has organized multiple trainings for the Gendarmerie in Brazzaville, the most recent of which focused on high‐level traffickers and the one‐year‐old Sniffer Dog program which he built under PALF in order to better detect illegal wildlife contraband.
In addition to this work in Africa, Naftali follows a number of political issues regarding the trade in flora and fauna and has been attending CITES meetings since 2011, and as a member of the Congolese Delegation since 2012 at CITES Standing Committee 62, 63, 64 and 65 as well as the 16th Conference of the Parties.
As a co‐founder of the EAGLE Network, he also incorporated EAGLE‐U.S. in Washington D.C. in collaboration with Ofir Drori and Luc Mathot, which funds efforts to fight wildlife crime across 10 African countries.
Naftali’s passion for Central African wildlife came from living and working for a year in Conkouati‐Douli National Park, mostly in the rainforest, where on a daily basis he encountered iconic wildlife like chimpanzees, gorillas and elephants and learned to love the web of biodiversity that the forest held. This still drives him today and he visits the forests of Congo and natural areas abroad whenever he has a chance.