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From the 6th to the 7th March 2017, GVTC organized a workshop in Entebbe (Uganda), aiming at sharing results of the study conducted by its Secretariat on Harmonization of Policies, Laws and Regulations related to Wildlife Crimes within the Greater Virunga Landscape(GVL). This study was conducted in 2016 in the three member countries, i.e. DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda. The main objective of such a workshop was to validate the report on the harmonization of laws, policies and legislations related to wildlife crimes as well as develop an action plan for the harmonization process within the three countries.
Participants who attended the workshop were experts in laws and legislation, researchers, security agents, protected areas authorities from DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda.
In their opening remarks, Dr Georges Muamba Thsibasu, the GVTC Executive Secretary; and Mr. Charles Tumwesigye, Deputy Director for Conservation at Uganda Wildlife Authority(UWA), the two speakers emphasized on the relevance of the transboundary collaboration aiming at protecting and preserving the mega biodiversity located in the GVL. They pointed out that the crimes on natural resources are to be eradicated and one of the tools to do so is laws and legislations. Then they gave some discrepancies that exist within those laws and legislations, and because of that, it becomes difficult to deal with those crimes, reason why harmonization of laws, policies and regulations in the GVL is paramount to allow the protection of endangered species and other natural resources.
The results of the study were presented by Mr. David Karuhanga, the GVTC Legal Advisor while the facilitation was made by Professor Jean-Paul Segihobe, the Principal of University of Goma who shared the critiques on the areas that need improvement before the study may be published or disseminated.
Regarding the Treaty ratification, the harmonization of laws, policies and regulations is an important tool and because of that, Uganda and Rwanda as partner states were requested to speed up the ratification process as it is being done in DRC. Conservation institutions in the three countries were also requested to involve themselves as GVTC ambassadors and work towards the ratification of the Treaty, bearing in mind that this ratification process will stimulate donors to contribute more to the conservation initiatives being implemented by GVTC for the benefit of the populations of the three countries.
GVTC Communication Service.