Acknowledging the increase of illegal killing of animals in the last decades and the parallel multiplication of highly organized criminal networks threatening local biodiversity and endangered species in Africa, the Environmental Law Centre introduced a project focusing on Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade in Tanzania. The burgeoning demand for ivory, together with low conviction rates and lenient penalties limit the effects of national or international legal instruments focusing on wildlife conservation.
During the course of the project, about 600 cases will be analyzed, with the objective of identifying strengths and weaknesses in the judicial chain, and potential obstacles to the complete enforcement of existing legislation. Findings arising from this case-law analysis will inform the formulation of recommendations for improving and reinforcing the legal framework on wildlife offences in Tanzania. They will also be used to develop capacity-building workshops designed to enhance judges’ and magistrates’ knowledge of wildlife legislation.
The inception meeting organized in Tanzania on 27 and 28 October was an opportunity for the local legal consultants and the ELC to meet and agree on fundamental steps for this project. They have elaborated a methodology which will be used from November 2015 to April 2016 for analyzing wildlife-related cases.
The ELC partners with GIZ and TRAFFIC on this project and is willing to involve relevant stakeholders to the greatest extent possible, with a view to ensuring the delivery of enlightened recommendations and capacity-building materials in April 2016.