Born in Israel in 1976, Ofir Drori Arrived to Cameroon in 2002 as an educator, photo-journalist and activist, and founded the NGO - LAGA. Seven months after its creation, LAGA, as a small group of local activist volunteers without a donor, brought about the first ever wildlife prosecution for the whole of West and Central Africa through fighting corruption.
LAGA is credited in shifting Cameroon from a decade long baseline of zero wildlife prosecutions to an arrest and prosecution of a major wildlife dealer in a rate of one per week. This rate was kept stable for the last 8 years as LAGA’s work with the Government of Cameroon has put more than 500 traffickers behind bars.
After proving that the innovative cost-effective model is successful, the vision for the rest of Africa started materializing. Following several awards and recommendations from the international community to replicate the model in other countries, LAGA started working with other NGO's transferring the LAGA experience and model throughout the sub-region. The LAGA model has been replicated and is currently operating in nine countries where it has brought about historical prosecutions and keeps on expanding every year.
The replication of the LAGA model is consolidated into the EAGLE network that brought about more than 1,000 arrests and subsequent prosecutions and imprisonments of major wildlife traffickers. It has been instrumental in clamping down on criminal syndicates and kingpins.
The influence of LAGA goes beyond conservation - it was described by 7 national ambassadors as “one of Cameroon’s significant anti corruption success stories” and has inspired similar activities in policing corruption, child trafficking and human rights issues.
LAGA was an experiment in the field for methods of fighting corruption within a law enforcement and application process. In 2005 Ofir Drori founded a second NGO, AC, that is trying to use the experience of establishing Wildlife Law Enforcement to push for Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement and to fight corruption within the development and NGO world. AC tries to group ordinary victims of acts of corruption and lead them to attack corruption in court, with the intention of empowering ordinary citizens to participate in the fight against corruption. It also activates a corruption hotline and focuses on corruption in development and promotes a certification scheme and other innovative tools as a way of remedy.
Ofir Drori is the author of the book The Last Great Ape- the story of his life and work, and his journey to activism.
2007 Clark Bavin Award for outstanding achievements in law enforcement
2007 Interpol award for an investigation for Cameroon for LAGA investigation
2008 Golden Heart Award – for activism
2011 Future For Nature Award for impact on conservation and innovation in integrating the fight against corruption in conservation.
2012 Marsh Trust Award for Compassion to Animals.
2012 The Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal for contribution to conservation.
2012 Conde Naste Traveler Environment Award for leadership in conservation.