On April 10, at the Academy of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation, with the support of the Amur Tiger Center, a round table was held on the topic “Problems of Implementing Legislation on the Protection of Wildlife”, which was attended by leaders and employees of specially protected natural territories organizations, prosecutors and other participants.
The meeting discussed the legal and organizational problems of ensuring the regime of special protection of wildlife objects in the protected areas, their solutions and developing proposals for improving the mechanisms of environmental protection. The specialists also touched upon the issues of legal regulation and the public administration system, including oversight, in this area, its features and results of the reform.
With regard to the problems of legal regulation, the round table participants paid special attention to the necessity of improving the legislation for effective protection of wildlife. One of the problems of the existing legislation is the disparity of punishment and degree of public danger of the actions aimed at the turnover of valuable species, particularly the Amur tiger.
“It is hardly possible to compare the social danger, for example, deliberate bankruptcy (Article 196 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation - up to six years’ imprisonment) and the extraction of especially valuable wild animals, which could lead to their complete disappearance, with a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment”, - said the first deputy general director of the Amur Tiger Center Alexandra Vishnevskaya.
In addition, the problem of competition of elements of administrative offenses and offenses under Article 258 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and Articles 8.37 and 7.11 of the Code on Administrative Offenses was noted: the wording currently used in the law allows officials who decide to prosecute, at their discretion, to determine criminal or administrative code. That is why poachers often bear a milder punishment for the killing of rare animals than is required by the size of the actual damage caused to the environment.
Practical problems related to the need for additional funding for the protection of wildlife and the material and technical re-equipping of law enforcement agencies were not left unattended. Employees of the Amur Tiger Center talked about what work is being done in this direction, including awarding inspectors, equipping security services in nature reserves, and quality training for specialized personnel to conduct security activities.
“All these activities are being implemented by the Amur Tiger Center: we equip operational teams, reward inspectors for their work, support the opening of new educational programs,” commented the First Deputy General Director of the Amur Tiger Center Alexandra Vishnevskaya “The fact that the necessity of this activity is generally recognized indicates that we are moving in the right direction.”
The cooperation of the Amur Tiger Center and the Academy of the General Prosecutor's Office laid the foundation for the development of the direction of protection of wildlife in the field of prosecutorial supervision in the Academy. According to the results of the round table, recommendations will be formed, which will be reflected in the information letters of the Prosecutor General's Office. Moreover, it is planned to publish a collection of materials of the round table.
Recall that earlier, with the support of the Center, the staff of the Academy conducted a scientific study of the state of law in the field of protection of rare and endangered species of animals.