International Conference on Wildlife Crime Prevention
An international conference was held to prevent crimes against wildlife
- Peru hosted the First International Conference on Wildlife Crime Prevention held from October 4 to 6, 2023.
- Different approaches and analytical frameworks from crime sciences were shared and discussed to address wildlife trafficking in the Andean-Amazonian countries, emphasizing on crime prevention.
- The importance of collaborative, multi-sector, and interdisciplinary work to achieve effective responses to prevent conservation crimes was highlighted.
10/10/2023. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) -within the framework of the Alliance for Wildlife and Forests- John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the European Union in Peru, organized the First International Conference on Wildlife Crime Prevention, where more than a hundred participants gathered, representing the public sector, academia, indigenous people, local communities, and civil society organizations from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. Research institutes, global experts in crime sciences and law enforcement agents also participated.
Illegal wildlife trade, as a type of wildlife crime, involves a multitude of activities, both at the national and international levels, including illegal extraction or hunting, local transportation and logistics, storage, processing (local consumption and/or), export, delivery, and consumption at the destination of wildlife specimens. Addressing this crime requires coordination and articulation between different sectors and at different levels to provide effective and sustainable responses.
The event's purpose was to exchange experiences in combating wildlife trafficking, focusing on crime prevention. It also aimed at generating coordination networks among the different actors of the Andean-Amazonian region to facilitate collaborative work.
The Ambassador of the European Union in Peru, Gaspar Frontini, highlighted: "This issue is very important for the European Union because preserving wildlife is essential for biodiversity, but also for the lives of local populations..." "...We have to make a joint effort among all countries as this is a problem that we must address regionally and in a coordinated manner. That's why I think events like this are essential to share experiences and best practices, talk about challenges, and see what means can be employed."
From left to right: Hung-En Sung, professor and director of International Research Partnerships at John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Gaspar Frontini, Ambassador of the European Union in Peru; Mariana Montoya, director of WCS Peru, and Captain Rocío Teresa Rodríguez, of the National Police of Peru, during the inauguration of the International Conference.
The event focused on the contribution that the disciplines of criminology and forensic sciences make to prevent wildlife crimes and, specifically, to formulate strategies against wildlife trafficking involving various relevant actors.
"Decades of scientific research have now given us a good understanding of human behavior under certain conditions that lead to the occurrence of these environmental crimes. We are better positioned to design strategies based on scientific evidence to prevent and control this problem", said Hung-En Sung, professor and director of International Research Partnerships at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
For three days, participants attended keynote lectures, panels with experts, group workshops, and plenaries where they received specialized information and exchanged knowledge, experiences, tools, and techniques for preventing wildlife crimes. Research results and analytical frameworks on criminology were shared, presenting crime theories and illustrative examples of the application of these sciences to counter wildlife trafficking. Representatives of indigenous communities from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru also shared their initiatives for the conservation of wildlife and the prevention of crimes against it. The agenda of the Conference can be downloaded here.
At the closing of the First International Conference on Wildlife Crime Prevention, emphasis was placed on the need to prioritize multi-sector collaboration to effectively combat wildlife trafficking and environmental degradation, identifying opportunities from each sector to contribute to the conservation of wildlife in their natural habitats.
From the different sectors represented, valuable recommendations were shared, among which are:
- The importance of harmonizing legislation between countries to avoid "gray areas" that facilitate crime.
- Strengthen communication and collaboration among governments, academia, civil society, and businesses to enhance the prevention of wildlife crimes through dialogue and establishing sustainable cooperation mechanisms over time.
- Respect and value the knowledge and work of indigenous people in biodiversity conservation.
- Incorporate emerging technologies and technical tools that facilitate inter-institutional coordination and information exchange for effective research, leveraging existing knowledge networks for more effective action to counter wildlife trafficking.
The event concluded with the collective commitment to continue advancing in the implementation of practical and sustainable solutions rooted in multi-sectoral and international collaboration, backed by international cooperation and an interdisciplinary knowledge network.
For media contact: Dora Arévalo. Senior Communications Specialist - Counter Wildlife Trafficking Program -AAO, WCS. firstname.lastname@example.org +(57) 3164783045.