Wildlife Crime and Justice: A Study based on Compilation of Cases Recorded in Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Authorities
ABSTRACT: The purpose of “Wildlife Crime Cases: A Study of Kathmandu Valley” is to examine the current status of illegal wildlife trade. The report analyses the total and species wise wildlife crime cases, number of arrestees, absconded people and actions taken by the conservation authorities for capturing the absconded people for legal decision, seizures, ethnic group involvement in illegal wildlife trade and judicial decisions and time taken for decisions made to individuals involved in illegal wildlife trade form the data recorded at five different judgments institutions of Kathmandu valley over time period of 2063 – 2069 BS.
Altogether 95 wildlife crime cases were found recorded in five judicial institutions of which 45 percent cases was recorded at Kathmandu district forest office, 31 percent in Supreme Court, 17 percent in Lalitpur District Forest Office and 5 percent cases recorded at the District Forest Office, Bhaktapur and Appellate Court. A total of 98 cases were found after differentiation of total wildlife crime cases to species wise crime cases; of which the highest-35 recorded were Rhinoceros cases followed by 17 Leopard cases and the least-2 recorded were Elephant Cases. 204 persons were found involved in total 95 studied wildlife crime cases, of which 60 percent were indigenous people, 16 percent were of Brahmin and Chhetri ethnic background, 3 percent were foreigners and rest 21 percent were unidentified. The reason behind the higher involvement of indigenous people in wildlife crime is because; their settlement locates nearby the protected areas, these people are highly marginalized, uneducated and unemployed which cause the involvement in illegal wildlife trade as best alternative job to earn and sustain life. Among the seizures, hides of wildlife were seized in higher numbers and some animals like Pangolin, Barking Deer and Owl were seized in living condition which later on was submitted to Central Zoo. More than half i.e. 52 percent of the total wildlife crime cases studied is in process of decision making, 40 percent of wildlife crime cases had been judged and the decision of the remaining 8 percent of enlisted wildlife crime cases were not available.