Published 1st January 2019
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country in the Congo Basin whose biological diversity is one of the richest in the world because of the countless and varied wildlife and flora that compose it.
Ngeh Chiambeng Paulinus, Shabani Aziza Nancy, Mabita Mafuta Christian et Djamba Kasongo Emile
To protect its rich biodiversity, government has a rich and varied legal framework that integrates different aspects and provisions of wildlife protection as well as institutions (ICCN, DCN, JUSTICE, DGDA, OCC, PNC) that not only prevent wildlife crimebut also suppress it. In addition, it has signed several international conventions aimed at protecting and regulating wildlife trade and conservation, including CITES (Washington, 3 March 1973).
With such legal and institutional mechanisms in place, it would be expected that any offense would be brought to the knowledge of the competent authorities, such as judiciary, for processing and decision. Unfortunately, in spite of the high rate of wildlife crime in the country, many cases are not brought before the courts. The few cases brought before the courts and tribunals are not always sanctioned by a judgment of conviction. Indeed, out of the 35 cases registered6 between January 2016 and March 2018 in the judicial circuit, only 3 judgments were rendered.
During the period of this study, which took place between May 28 and June 30, 2018 we were able to establish that 6 out of 10 files brought to the attention of the Public Prosecutor's Office were weak (poorly drafted, non-established offenses, lack of evidence, procedural delays largely exceeded etc.). With such records, the prosecution usually has no choice but to dismiss the cases. In addition, "many other problems gravitate to an effective and effective application of the law on wildlife", these include ignorance of certain laws, weak capabilities especially in investigations, weak collaboration between services and institutions working in the chain of law enforcement, influence peddling and corruption.
As a result of this study, and with a view to improving the prosecution of wildlife offenses, we make the following recommendations:
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