PPT - Asian Judges Network on Environment (AJNE)

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National Law regarding the
illegal wildlife trade and the
challenges to implement the law
Presented by
H.E. Mya Thein
Judge
Supreme Court of the Union
Republic of the Union of Myanmar
1
Biophysical and geographical
descriptions about Myanmar
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situated in continental Southeast Asia
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with an area of 676,577 km2, extends 936 km from the
east to west and 2,051 km from north to south
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boundaries share with China in the north, with Laos and
Thailand in the east, and with Bangladesh and India in
the west. The Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal edge
the Myanmar coast in the south and the west
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Myanmar can be roughly divided into three parts: the
western hills region, the central valley region, and the
eastern hills region.
2
Climate
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drain by many river systems and most are flowing from
the north to the south. The main rivers are Ayeyarwaddy,
Thanlwin, Chindwin and Sittaung
a tropical monsoon climate
three well defined seasons: the rainy season (mid-May
to October), the cold season (November to January) and
the hot season (February to mid-May).
receive more than 5000 mm of annual rainfall whereas
the central part of Myanmar has an annual rainfall of less
than 1000 mm.
March and April rises to above 43.3°C while in the
northern mountainous parts of the country, it is about
36°C and on the eastern Shan plateau, it is between
29.4°C and 35°C.
3
Biodiversity reservoir
Varied forest types of Myanmar are home
of several mammals, reptiles, avifauna,
amphibians, fish and plant species
 Myanmar, therefore, represents an
important biodiversity reservoir in Asia.
Furthermore, Myanmar possesses
numerous endemic wild flora and fauna
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4
Wildlife management in Myanmar
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Nature Conservation National Park Project (NCNPP)
was launched under the joint implementation of United
Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Myanmar
government
Established the Nature and Wildlife Conservation
Division (NWCD), and NWCD is responsible for nature
conservation and Protected Areas(PAs).
Among the 36 PAs, six PAs have been recognized as
ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP).
Three wildlife sanctuaryAHPs - Indawgyi Lake Wildlife
sanctuary, Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, Meinmahla
Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary
5
Indawgyi Lake Wildlife sanctuary
6
Indawgyi Lake Wildlife sanctuary
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established in 2004
situated in Moenyin Township, Moenyin District, Kachin
State
covers an area of about 815 km2
the largest inland lake in South East Asia and the third
largest one in the world
dominated by moist upper mixed deciduous and semievergreen forests, and 37 mammals, 326 forest bird
species, 80 amphibian species, 50 butterfly species and
64 fish species have been recorded.
7
Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
8
Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
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established in 1985
covers an area of about 641 km2
situated in Nyaung Shwe, Pinlaung and Peh Kon
Townships of Southern Shan State
second largest Lake in Myanmar
the Sanctuary’s vegetation comprises wetland sedge,
reeds and evergreen flora.
wetland system is home to about 250 bird species. The
Lake also provides habitats for 20 species of snails, and
43 species of fish, with 16 endemic fish
about 14 migratory bird species have been recorded. A
total of 527 medicinal plant species and 108 orchids
were recorded in the sanctuary.
9
Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife
Sanctuary
10
Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife
Sanctuary
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declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1993
covers an area of 137 km2
situated in Bogalay Township, Phya Pone District,
Ayeyarwaddy Region
established to protect the remaining mangrove forests as
a refuge for species such as estuarine crocodiles,
resident & migratory water and shore birds
a total of 40 mangrove species, 53 medicinal plants
species, 11 orchid species, 15 mammals species, 51
fish species, 12 prawn species, 9 crab species, 26 snake
species, 1 crocodile species, 35 butterfly species and
117 bird species are observed in the Sanctuary
two turtle freshwater species and freshwater dolphins
have been reported in the area as well.
11
Strategies and plans towards
wildlife protection in Myanmar
The National Commission for
Environmental Affairs (NCEA) was formed
in 1990
 to coordinate environmental matters
across ministries
 to develop National Environmental Policy
 to liaise with foreign countries and nongovernment organizations regarding
environmental matters
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12
Legal Framework
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Protection of Wildlife, Wild Plants and Conservation of Natural
Area Law (1994)
mandates protection of wild flora and fauna and their habitats
and representative ecosystems.
The objectives of this law are as follows;
to implement the Government policy for wildlife protection
to implement the Government policy for natural areas
conservation;
to carry out in accordance with the International Conventions
acceded by the State in respect of the protection and
conservation of wildlife, ecosystems and migratory birds;
to protect endangered species of wildlife and their natural
habitats;
to contribute for the development of research on natural
science;
to protect wildlife by the establishment of zoological gardens
and botanical gardens.
13
Protected Species
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completely protected species may not be hunted except
for scientific purposes under special license
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protected species may be hunted but only with special
permission
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seasonally protected species are subjected to traditional
subsistence hunting by rural communities only during the
open (i.e., non breeding) season
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Forest Law (1992) protects forest resources and gives
priority to link forest management to social and
environmental considerations.
14
Activities of law enforcement for controlling
wildlife trade in Myanmar
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To facilitate implementing effective measures for
domestic and transboundary illegal wildlife and wild plant
trade, Myanmar has formed National Wildlife Law
Enforcement Task Force in 2007, consisting of several
governmental organizations led by Forest Department.
The Task Force is reporting the seizures of illegal wildlife
trade to ASEAN – Wildlife Enforcement Network
(ASEAN-WEN).
The Task Force has been reformed in 2011.
The CITES Management Authority of Myanmar is
working with the Ministry of Commerce, the Customs
Department, and National Police Force in strengthening
the regulations of the wildlife trades.
15
Taking Action under the Protection of Wildlife
and Conservation of Natural Areas Law
Taking Administrative Action
A Forest Officer may pass an administrative order
causing a fine which may extend to kyats 1000
to be paid, on a person who commits frightening
or wilfully disturbing protected wild animals
within a natural area or within the zoological
garden or botanical garden which is
administered by the Government or towards
which the Government has subscribed share
capital.
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16
Taking Administrative Action
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A Forest Officer may pass an administrative
order causing a fine which may extend to kyats
10,000 to be paid, on a person who kills, hunts,
wounds or raises a seasonally protected wild
animal without permission during the close
season in accordance with the Section 31 of the
Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of
Natural Areas Law
17
Taking Administrative Action
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A person dissatisfied with an
administrative order passed by a Forest
Officer may file an appeal to the Director
General within 30 days from the date of
such order. The decision of the Director
General shall be final and conclusive.
18
Taking Criminal Action
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hunting without a licence, violation of any
condition of the hunting licence, aising without
permission, for commercial purpose normally
protected wild animals and seasonally protected
wild animals shall on conviction be punished
with imprisonment for a term which may extend
to 3 years or with fine which may extend to kyats
10,000 or with both under the provision of the
Section 35.
19
Taking Criminal Action
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killing, hunting or wounding a normally
protected wild animal or seasonally
protected wild animal without permission,
possessing, selling, transporting or
transferring such wild animal or any part
thereof without permission shall, on
conviction be punished with imprisonment
for a term which may extend to 5 years or
with fine which may extend to kyats
30,000 or with both.
20
Taking Criminal Action
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killing, hunting or wounding a completely
protected wild animal without permission,
possessing, selling, transporting or transferring
such wild animal or any part thereof without
permission, exporting without the
recommendation of the Director General a
completely protected wild animal or a protected
wild plant or any part thereof shall, on conviction
be punished with imprisonment for a term which
may extend to 7 years or with fine which may
extend to kyats 50,000 or with both, in
accordance with the Section 37.
21
Burden of Proof
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The law mentions that, in a case where
administrative action is taken or where a
legal proceeding is instituted under this
Law, the burden of proving lawful
ownership or lawful right of possession in
respect of the exhibit seized shall lie on
the person against whom action is taken.
22
Taking Criminal Action
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loss and damage to the Forest Department the Court
may pass order for the value of the loss and damage to
the Forest Department caused by the offender, to be
paid by way of compensation to the Forest Department
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confiscate the wild animal, wild plants and parts thereof
involved in the commission of the offence and hand over
the same to the Forest Department
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pass an order for confiscation of vehicles/ vessels,
animals and other machinery and implements involved in
the commission of the offence
23
Detected illegal trades of wildlife
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January 2010 and September 2011, Myanmar
Forest Department has detected 50 illegal
trades of wildlife and their parts.
Most of the cases are detected in the MyanmarChina border.
The wild animals which seized on the border are
mostly includes in categories of the normally
protected wildlife, such as fresh water turtles and
land tortoise.
24
Challenges faced by the judiciary in
implementing the law
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prior sanction
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production of exhibits
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expert opinion
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law enforcement authorities file the case
25
Cooperation with the International
Organizations
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signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Member of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEANWEN)
National Elephant Survey (2005) in cooperation with Smithsonian
Institution;
National Tiger Survey (1991) in cooperation with WCS;
Designation of Hukaung Tiger Reserve, Vertebrate Fauna Survey
(1999)
Herpetological Survey (2008-2010) in cooperation with the California
Academy of Science
Myanmar-Japanese Cooperative Inventory and Research
Programme of the Useful Plants of Myanmar (2008) in cooperation
with Makino Botanical Gardens-MBK; etc.
26
Conclusion
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Sound criminal justice system to combat the illegal
wildlife trade
Fundamental legal framework is also established by
enacting the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation
of Natural Areas Law in 2004.
National Wildlife Law Enforcement Task Force reformed
on 31st August, 2011
Forest Staff take the administrative actions
Court also passes the deterrent punishment who
commits the criminal offences
Work closely with the ASEAN-WEN
International co-operation with neighboring countries is
essential in reducing the illegal wildlife trade
27
THANK YOU
28
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