On October 23, within the framework of the VIII International Environmental Forum "Nature without borders", the Amur Tiger Center together with the Law School of Far Eastern Federal University held an International Academic and Research Conference "International and National Legal Mechanisms for the Use and Protection of Wildlife."
The conference was attended by specialists of the Amur Tiger Center, researchers of the specially protected natural areas of Primorsky Krai, Russian and international experts in the field of legal regulation of wildlife protection and law enforcement officers, FEFU students and postgraduates.
The specialists will discuss such topical issues as improving criminal legislation on illegal use of wildlife, the fight against the smuggling of rare species of animals and investigation of criminal cases of illegal hunting, illegal capture and trafficking of particularly valuable species of wild animals.
In recent years, experts have been trying to improve environmental legislation, trying to fill the gaps that can damage the environment and rare animals. Public organizations play a huge role in the improvement of laws.
Director of the Primorye branch of the Amur Tiger Center Sergei Aramilev commented on this subject: "The adoption of the Amur Tiger Conservation Strategy has stimulated the processes of improving the efficiency of the protection and use of wildlife throughout the country. Competent regulatory legal acts are a pledge to preserve not only the tiger, but the entire natural complex".
Tighter responsibility became a serious step towards the development of legislation on the rare species protection. In accordance with the new law for illegal capturing and trafficking of valuable animals, poachers are punished with imprisonment of up to 7 years and up to 2 million rubles fine (Article 258.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). However, experts note that the analysis of the practice of the application of the article, which had entered into force in 2013, showed that the punishment does not correspond to the degree of damage that such crimes inflict on society.
"The illegal capture and trafficking of particularly valuable species of wild animals lead to irrecoverable losses for the entire world and must entail the corresponding criminal and legal consequences in the form of a strict sanction with fewer alternative types of punishments, toughening of the punishment in the form of imprisonment," said Ilya Kuznetsov, Deputy Director General of the Amur Tiger Center.
In addition, the experts have discussed the problems of investigating criminal cases committed against rare species of animals. For example, Olga Zherebkina shared her findings on the need to develop examination of wild animals for evidence base in criminal cases. The investigation is the most difficult stage in the fight against poachers, since such crimes are committed mostly without witnesses and with a minimum of evidence.
In general, experts noted the need to hold similar conferences and the development of a dialogue to further enhance the effectiveness of environmental legislation.
Recall that the VIII International Environmental Forum "Nature without borders", within the framework of which the conference was held, has become a popular platform for discussing acute issues of ecology. This year more than 500 people take part in the forum. These are representatives of environmental scientific organizations, the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, heads and representatives of UNESCO and employees of government bodies, business representatives. Guests from the Republic of Korea, the USA and Finland are among the foreign participants of the forum.