Sea shepherd galapagos launches environmental law manualWith the support of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Justice, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Galapagos has officially launched an environmental law manual titled: Manual on the Application of Criminal Environmental law as a Tool for the Protection of the Natural Areas in the Galapagos. Authorities from all sectors received a copy of this historic document at a presentation on May 13, 2011.

The manual analyzes the importance of the natural areas of the Galapagos, which benefit from international recognition and the protection of Ecuadorian authorities.

Its protection goes back to 1936, when the Galapagos were named the first National Park in Ecuador. Then in 1978, the Galapagos became the world's first UNESCO Natural Heritage Site and 20 years later, the first Marine Reserve in Ecuador. Since 2005, the Galapagos have become the first Maritime Sensitive Zone, designated in Ecuador by the International Maritime Organization.

The manual also explains the Galapagos special regime, which is drafted in the Constitution and developed in a Special Law (LOREG, 1998). By establishing penal sanctions to environmental infractions occurring in the Marine Reserve and the National Park, this law was the first in the country to acknowledge the effective role of criminal law in protecting the natural heritage of the Galapagos Islands. This law penalizes industrial fisheries taking place within the Marine Reserve, as well as fisheries of protected species, such as sharks.

At the book launch, Sea Shepherd presented the book not only as a useful manual for judicial operators, but also as the first step towards a much needed specialized judicial system, one that meets the challenges of ruling and enforcing environmental law in a National Park and a Marine Reserve that are also UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Sea Shepherd will continue to advocate for a judicial system that embraces and enforces the principles of the UN World Charter for Nature and the progressive green approach of the new Ecuadorian Constitution. A judicial system symbolized by a blindfolded Lady Justice, the Roman goddess of justice, holding a human scale and Neptune's trident, and ruling with the power of reason and environmental justice. All in the name of the invisible and the defenseless: the sharks that inhabited this natural heritage site long before humans did.

(L to R): Capt. Alex Cornelissen, Col. Geovanny Leiva, Dr. Hugo Echeverria, Capt. Rocio Vinueza, Capt. Jose Luis Villacis, Lt. Cristina Proano(L to R): Capt. Alex Cornelissen, Col. Geovanny Leiva, Dr. Hugo Echeverria, Capt. Rocio Vinueza, Capt. Jose Luis Villacis,
Lt. Cristina Proano


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Sea shepherd galapagos launches environmental law manualCon el apoyo del Ministerio de Justicia del Ecuador, Sea Shepherd Galapagos presento oficialmente una obra de derecho ambiental intitulada MANUAL DE APLICACION DEL DERECHO PENAL AMBIENTAL COMO INSTRUMENTO DE PROTECCION DE LAS AREAS NATURALES DE GALAPAGOS. Las autoridades de todos los sectores relevantes del proceso penal ambiental recibieron un ejemplar de este documento historico, en un evento que tuvo lugar el 13 de mayo de 2011.

El manual analiza la importancia de las areas naturales de Galapagos, que gozan de reconocimiento internacional y la proteccion de las autoridades ecuatorianas. Su proteccion data de 1936, cuando las Islas Galapagos fueron declaradas como el primer Parque Nacional del Ecuador. Luego, en 1978, las Galapagos se convirtieron en el primer Patrimonio de la Humanidad, declarado por la UNESCO; y, 20 anos mas tarde, la primera Reserva Marina del Ecuador. Desde el ano 2005, las Galapagos son la primera Zona Maritima Sensible, designada a pedido del Ecuador, por la Organizacion Maritima Internacional.

El manual tambien explica el regimen especial de Galapagos, que esta establecido en la Constitucion y desarrollado en una Ley Especial (LOREG, 1998). Mediante la aplicacion de sanciones penales a las infracciones ambientales que ocurran en la Reserva Marina y el Parque Nacional, esta ley fue la primera en el pais en reconocer el efectivo papel del derecho penal en la proteccion del patrimonio natural de las Islas Galapagos. Esta ley, por ejemplo, sanciona penalmente las pesquerias industriales dentro de la Reserva Marina, asi como la pesca de especies protegidas, como los tiburones.

Sea Shepherd presento la obra no solo como un util manual para los operadores judiciales, sino tambien como el primer paso hacia una muy necesaria especializacion de sistema judicial, para que pueda responder a los desafios de hacer cumplir la legislacion ambiental en un Parque Nacional y Reserva Marina, que tambien es Patrimonio Natural de la Humanidad.

Sea Shepherd continuara abogando por un sistema judicial que abrace y aplique los principios de la Carta Mundial de la ONU para la Naturaleza, en funcion de la progresista perspectiva verde de la nueva Constitucion del Ecuador. Un sistema judicial simbolizado por una Dama de la Justicia, la diosa romana de la justicia, sosteniendo una balanza y el tridente de Neptuno, dios del mar, para aplicar la ley con el poder de la razon y la justicia ambiental.

Todo en nombre de los invisibles y los indefensos: los tiburones que habitan este patrimonio natural mucho antes que los seres humanos.

(L to R): Capt. Alex Cornelissen, Col. Geovanny Leiva, Dr. Hugo Echeverria, Capt. Rocio Vinueza, Capt. Jose Luis Villacis, Lt. Cristina Proano(L to R): Capt. Alex Cornelissen, Col. Geovanny Leiva, Dr. Hugo Echeverria, Capt. Rocio Vinueza, Capt. Jose Luis Villacis,
Lt. Cristina Proano


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