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From May 5th until May 7th in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Sea Shepherd organized the conference titled "Criminal Environmental Law as a Conservation Tool in Galapagos and the Region." During the conference, the Attorney General of Ecuador announced the designation of the first-ever prosecutor specialized in environmental law for the province of Galapagos.

The event was organized together with World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International and was opened by the Attorney General who underlined his office's institutional support regarding conservation issues, as well as the need to slow down environmental crimes in Galapagos. Also participating was Dr. Miguel Felix Lopez, Ecuadorian judge who ruled in favor of indemnifying environmental damages in the "Jessica case" (fuel spill inside the Marine Reserve) in the amount of $10,000,000. The Director of the Galapagos National Park, the Provincial Director of the Judiciary Council, the Provincial Commander of the Environmental Police, and the Port Captain of San Cristobal Island were some of the national guest speakers. Foreign representation was provided by the Latin American Network of Environmental Prosecutors.

During the conference, which was directed at judicial officials, Police, National Park and the Navy, four problems were analyzed regarding the application of criminal environmental law in Galapagos:

  1. Increase of penalties for environmental crimes in Galapagos
  2. Applying all possible means available in the law to improve the criminal process for environmental crimes
  3. Cooperation and coordination between military, police and the judicial system to have a better answer to the environmental crimes
  4. The need for specialization in environmental law in the judicial system in Galapagos

The Attorney General congratulated the organizers of the event for addressing this issue and promoted the signing of the "Declaration of Galapagos," in which the judicial authorities, army, and police agreed to initiatives aimed to strengthen the application of criminal environmental law in protected areas in Galapagos.

Hopefully, the new environmental prosecutor will begin his activities within the month and his work will contribute substantially to the application of criminal environmental law as a conservation tool in Galapagos.

Even though the organization of conferences normally would not be a task Sea Shepherd Galapagos would undertake, the results of this event, without any doubt, justified the activity.

attorney general next to Alex

conference

conference participants

En Puerto Ayora, isla Santa Cruz, del 5 al 7 de mayo de 2010, Sea Shepherd organizo la Conferencia "La Ley Penal Ambiental Como Instrumento De Conservacion En Galapagos Y En La Region," durante la cual el Fiscal General del Estado anuncio la designacion del primer Fiscal especializado en derecho ambiental para la provincia de Galapagos.

El evento fue organizado junto con Conservacion Internacional y World Wildlife Fund, y fue inaugurado por el Fiscal General del Estado, quien destaco el interes institucional de la Fiscalia por la conservacion; asi como la necesidad de detener el avance del delito ambiental en Galapagos. Tambien participo el Dr. Miguel Felix Lopez, Juez ecuatoriano que dicto sentencia de indemnizacion por dano ambiental en el denominado ?caso Jessica? (derrame de combustibles en aguas de la reserva marina) por el monto de $10.000.000.  El Director del Parque Nacional Galapagos; el Director Provincial del Consejo de la Judicatura; el Comandante Provincial UPMA de la Policia Nacional; y el Capitan de Puerto de San Cristobal, participaron entre otros expositores nacionales y extranjeros de la Red Latinoamericana de Ministerio Publico Ambiental.

En la conferencia, que estuvo dirigida a autoridades y servidores  de la Funcion Judicial local, Policia, Parque Nacional y Armada, se analizaron cuatro problemas de aplicacion de la ley penal ambiental en Galapagos: a) endurecimiento de penas aplicables a delitos ambientales en Galapagos; b) aplicacion de todas las medidas previstas por la ley para hacer efectivo el proceso penal por delito ambiental; c) coordinacion de competencias militares, policiales y judiciales para lograr una mejor respuesta ante el delito ambiental; y, d) personal especializado en derecho ambiental en la Funcion Judicial de Galapagos.

El senor Fiscal General del Estado felicito a los organizadores por preocuparse de este tema y promovio la suscripcion de la DECLARACION DE GALAPAGOS, en la que autoridades judiciales, militares y policiales acordaron iniciativas orientadas a fortalecer la aplicacion del derecho penal ambiental en las areas protegidas de Galapagos.

Se espera que el nuevo Fiscal ambiental inicie sus actividades dentro de un mes y que esta designacion aporte sustancialmente al fortalecimiento de la aplicacion de la ley penal ambiental como un instrumento de conservacion en Galapagos.

Si bien la organizacion de conferencias no forma parte de las actividades que Sea Shepherd normalmente desarrolla en Galapagos, los resultados de este evento, sin duda alguna, justificaron su realizacion.

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