Stakeholders in the justice chain met in Isiolo to hold dialogue on environmental and wildlife crimes in the country.
The forum attended by stakeholders from the Judiciary, Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), representatives from the Civil Society organizations concerned with environment and wildlife matters, focused on the existing gaps and challenges in the environment and wildlife conservation matters.
The workshop themed, “Into the Next Frontier: Balancing Environmental Sustainability and Development,” discussed among other topics, the emerging Jurisprudence on Wildlife Crimes in Kenya, Nature and Emerging Trends of Environmental Crimes, Environmental Protection vis a vis Development: The Great Dilemma and Combating Wildlife Crime Through DNA Evidence among other issues.
Facilitators during the workshop included Judiciary Training Institute (JTI) Director Prof Justice James Otieno-Odek, representatives from Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), KWS, ODPP, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) among others.
Prof Otieno-Odek urged stakeholders to use the existing natural resources sustainably for the benefit of future generation.
He said there is need for wildlife and environmental agencies to be innovative in order to combat crimes.
He urged participants to come up with innovative ways of curbing crimes and avoid the traditional dispute resolution in wildlife crimes.
Kato Wambua of the ODPP said that the conviction rate for the wildlife crimes rose from 92 per cent to 94 in 2016, while the case conclusion rate stands at 68 per cent.
Wambua attributed the success in combating the crimes on collaborative efforts by stakeholders in the sector adding that the use of other legislation besides the Wildlife Conservation Management Act (WCMA) also contributed to the success.
During the workshop that was held in December 2017, the stakeholders shared experiences in combating wildlife crimes in the country.