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Law Enforcement Workshop in Shimoga

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.

The 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 prosecution.



 

 

 

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