Wildlife Crime and International Criminal Justice
Poaching and illicit trafficking in wildlife and wildlife products cause far-reaching harm to African societies. The environment, a key resource for agrarian communities, is severely degraded, including through the loss of biodiversity and serious disruption of ecosystems. Wildlife crime also threatens national and international security through its links with organized crime, corruption, terrorism and armed conflict. For example, members of Al Shabaab have been linked to ivory poaching in Kenya, while Sudanese militia including the Janjaweed are reported to have been involved in poaching in Chad, Kenya and elsewhere. Illicit trafficking has further transnational consequences by supporting organized crime syndicates and encouraging corruption in transit and destination states.
SIASIC’s multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach to international criminal justice also embraces Wildlife Crime, in analysing it in the context of transnational complex criminality, rather than as a stand-alone issue.
The Wildlife Centre at SIASIC
To support its multi-disciplinary approach to international criminal justice, SIASIC has established specialized Centers to pursue capacity- building, applied research, and integrated education on the selected topics.
One of these Centers is the Wildlife Center. It is run by SIASIC staff, with active project planning and preparations for various activities including prosecutor training on the legal framework governing wildlife in Eastern and Southern Africa. Additionally, the Center is in the process of creating a court-monitoring database on various court decisions in dealing with wildlife and environmental crimes.
The Wildlife Center has teamed up with several partners, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the Netherlands for various trainings targeting law enforcement, prosecutors and investigative officers.
Core functions of the Wildlife Centre
The Center focuses on three core functions:
- Providing criminal justice professionals with specialized training on the tools, techniques and best practices in the investigation, prosecution and trial of wildlife crimes.
- Conducting innovative applied research on Kenyan national wildlife crime legislation including trial monitoring and legislative review and analysis. Transnational organized crime structures, illicit flows of wildlife products, as well as criminal justice strategies to combat wildlife crime will also be examined.
- Educating criminal justice professionals, judicial officers, students and scholars on wildlife crime, enforcement mechanisms and the impact of these crimes on peace, security and development.
To be updated soon…..
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