The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has launched wildlife crime prosecution guidelines in its latest efforts to curb wildlife crime in Uganda.
Launched in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) the Guidelines on Investigations and Prosecutions of Wildlife crimes in Uganda will provide a road map for prosecutors, investigators, and other stakeholders on how to implement the newly passed Wildlife Act 2020 especially with the drafting of charges and adherence to prosecutorial standard operating procedures while handling wildlife crime cases.
The guidelines were launched on Monday at a ceremony officiated by the executive director of Uganda Wildlife Education and Conservative Center (UWEC) Dr. James Musinguzi who remarked that Uganda is a rich country in terms of biodiversity but wildlife crime is challenging conservation efforts.
He further noted the guidelines will go a long way in contributing towards effective investigations, prosecution and adjudication of wildlife crimes.
The Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Charles Elem-Ogwal noted the guidelines will be an important tool in curbing wildlife crime because despite the tourism sector being lucrative, it has been hampered by the significant rise of wildlife crime over the years.
He said the crimes have been international organised crimes facilitated by criminal gangs engaged in transnational money laundering and transnational activities.