| Law Enforcement Workshop
20th April, 2003
WPSI conducted a
law enforcement workshop in Shimoga, Karnataka, on the
15 and 16 of March 2003 in collaboration with the Forest
Department. The aim was to update the Forest Department,
the Police Department, public prosecutors and Honorary
Wildlife Wardens on The Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA)
and share WPSI’s knowledge of the illegal trade
in wildlife products and experience in using wildlife
law in the courts. Many such workshops have been conducted
though out India by WPSI over the last three years.
Shimoga workshop was attended by 128 participants. Sessions
Judge K. N. Phaneendra inaugurated the workshop and
called upon the enforcement agencies to step up their
activities in light of the recent rise in wildlife crime.
He asked all forest and police officials to follow wildlife
cases diligently and ensure that the guilty are brought
to book. The Judge also pointed out that errors in following
procedures can allow criminals to escape the clutches
of the law and that this must prevented at all costs.
Belinda Wright held the first session
with an illustrated talk on the illegal wildlife trade
and enforcement. This was followed by a long session
by Sudhir Misra on the use of the WPA. The presence
of the Principal Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Karnataka,
Mr. Chakrabarti was very encouraging for the Forest
staff and at the end of the workshop some lively and
constructive discussions were held between field level
staff and the PCCF.
As reflected by the feedback received,
the workshop was greatly appreciated by the many participants.
They felt that such workshops were essential to train
them in the legal nitty-gritty of legal prosecution
and filing of complains, and that the resource material
that they had received would give them the tools to
enforce the law. The involvement of the public prosecutors
was also extremely productive. It is hoped that the
workshop has helped create a better understanding and
co-ordination between the forest officials and the public
prosecutors, which is essential for the success of any