Wildlife crime prosecution in times of armed conflict, a SWiPE workshop for Ukranian officials

Ukranian public prosecutors met in Kyev for a 3-day training to boost their knowledge and skills for the prosecution of wildlife and environmental crimes in times of armed conflict.

Methods to counteract wildlife crimes, investigation of environmental offences, implementation of procedural management and support of public prosecution — these and many other topics were covered by the participants of the 3-day training workshop organized jointly by WWF-Ukraine and the Training Center for Prosecutors of Ukraine in April in Kyiv as part of the LIFE SWiPE project. Its main goal was to increase the level of awareness of prosecutors regarding international and Ukrainian instruments for protecting environmental rights and the environment, particularly in the context of the war in the country.

On the first day of the training, Sofia Shutyak (WWF-Ukraine expert) about environmental protection, the tools of international and national law that prosecutors can use in their work, and the criminal-legal qualification of wildlife crimes.

In April 2023, Ukranian public prosecutors participated in a LIFE SWiPE training about wildlife crimes.

“Environmental legislation of Ukraine is well written, although there is little practice of its application. But prosecutors also may know and use international tools to protect environmental rights, join international groups, dialogues and discussions, and cooperate with international experts. Such an approach can help to gain new experience and a fresh vision for solving complex issues”, says Sofia Shutyak, lawyer, WWF-Ukraine’s senior expert on ecopolitics and SWiPE project manager in Ukraine.

On the next two days of the training, the participants also discussed:

● Aspects of procedural supervision with representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office;
● Peculiarities of carrying out examinations with representatives of the State Scientific and Research Expert and Forensic Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine;
● Needs in scientific knowledge in the field of environmental protection;
● Damage calculation approaches and eco-crime assessment tools;
● The lack of data on qualitative and quantitative indicators of the state of the environment due to the lack of systematic monitoring and general criteria for assessing the state of the environment in the country;
● Practical cases study.

In April 2023, Ukranian public prosecutors participated in a LIFE SWiPE training about wildlife crimes.

All training participants received hard copies of the Ukranian National Report on Wildlife Crimes (2015-2020), prepared as part of the LIFE SWiPE project.

“Article 66 of the Constitution of Ukraine states that everyone is obliged not to harm the environment. After all, the ecological balance is a guarantee of ecological safety. It is necessary to understand that we are protecting the environment (creating a nature reserve fund, developing environmental legislation) for our own benefit and that of future generations”, emphasizes Sofia Shutyak.

LIFE SWiPE training for prosecutors about wildlife crimes in Kyev, Ukraine