LAC conducts workshop on wildlife crimes

12 Sep 2018 18:10pm
RUNDU, 12 SEP (NAMPA) – The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) has trained members of the legal fraternity in dealing with cases of wildlife crime.
A media statement issued Wednesday said the four-day training took place at Divundu in the Kavango East Region last week.
It brought together 16 local and regional prosecutors, magistrates, Ministry of Environment and Tourism park wardens and investigators from the Namibian Police Force.
The training focused on anti-poaching and wildlife crimes as they relate to the participants’ everyday jobs and created an opportunity to bring three points of the anti-poaching and wildlife crime process together.
“Prosecutors, magistrates and police officers were able to learn more about the legislation and realities surrounding wildlife crimes in the context of their daily jobs and are now able to bring back ideas into their respective teams,” the statement said.
This was the second in a series of three workshops funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Highlighting the importance of the workshop, Deputy Chief Magistrate Claudia Claasen said wildlife must be seen as national resources and the courts must function as gatekeepers of these resources.
She said the State and the legal system cannot afford to have a laidback approach as wildlife crimes rob the treasury of income.
“We need to take wildlife crime more serious,” said Claasen.
Last year, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism amended the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act 9 of 2008, which sets out a penalty for illegal hunting of protected game from a previous maximum fine of N.dollars 200 000 to a current maximum penalty of N.dollars 25 million or maximum imprisonment of 25 years.