En español

Foto de grupo capacitacion primer grupo 1Photo: UPMA

Last week, officers of the Environmental Protection Unit of the Ecuadorian Police (UPMA) attended a course on environmental law, with a focus on Galapagos issues.

The course has held at UPMA headquarters, in Quito.

UPMA is the agency in charge of the Galapagos K9 Unit that currently hosts eight Police Officers trained as guides of the four wildlife-sniffing dogs. The dogs were provided in 2015 by SSCS, to cooperate with the Police in the fight against wildlife crime.

The three-day course covered all aspects of environmental law enforcement. Special attention was put to flagrant situations, that is, when somebody gets cut while committing an environmental crime. In these situations, Police officers act immediately, securing the place and evidence, as well as detaining the suspects within a very narrow time-frame. All this can be complicated when addressing environmental infractions occurring out in the sea, or in remote areas.

Attendants to the course provided with real-life experiences, which helped identify better ways to deal with environmental crime, especially in cases of wildlife crime. These included the detention of a suspect in a sea cucumber case occurring earlier this year in Galapagos.

The course also focused on the application of international treaties, such as CITES, in environmental law enforcement. This is something SSCS focused in Galapagos for the past six years, through its legal project. Attendants learned about the law and science protecting endangered species.

The course was provided by SSCS K9 Unit project (Maintenance of dog’s detectors of shark fins, sea cucumbers, sea lion penises and wildlife). It is part of a formal agreement signed with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ecuador in 2014. While the training program was originally designed to 08 Police officers acting as guides of the dogs in Galapagos, SSCS and UPMA decided to extend it to 120 Police officers, in case any of them are eventually transferred to the Galapagos Islands and also to provide capacity building to this important group of officers on environmental law. Three courses of an approximately 40 officers, are now planned. The first one took place the first week of August, with a total of 42 Police officers in attendance. Two representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs also attended. The second course is planned to be held by the end of August and the third in September 2016.

Malena García, SSCS project coordinator highlighted the importance of this course to the important work that K9 Unit does in Galapagos. She hopes that this knowledge will be applied in territory to prevent trafficking of wildlife species.

Text from UPMA commander:

Preserve nature today is of vital importance, especially in a mega-diverse country such as Ecuador, why it has framed our Constitution the rights of nature to protect and preserve the length and breadth of the National territory.

Day after day the staff of the Environmental Protection Unit of the Ecuadorian Police (UPMA) works hard to ensure that these rights are respected and enforced, preventing that wildlife species disappear.

The work of UPMA has been strengthened by the support of national and international organizations such as Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, with their knowledge and training, it has given us technical support to advance every day at work to preserve the environment.

Christian Salazar Flores
Commander
Environmental Protection Unit of the Ecuadorian Police

Underwater sea lion and turtlePhoto: Sea Shepherd

Two affectionate sea lionsPhoto: Sea Shepherd

Curious sea lion watches iquanaPhoto: Sea Shepherd

Iquana and crab. Photo: Sea ShepherdPhoto: Sea Shepherd

SharkPhoto: Nicolás Vera

 

En español

Capacitación Especializada Para Oficiales de la Primera Unidad Canina En Vida Silvestre de Galápagos

La semana pasada, el personal de la Unidad de Protección del Medio Ambiente de la Policía Nacional del Ecuador (UMPA) recibió una capacitación en derecho ambiental, con énfasis en temas relativos a Galápagos.

La capacitación tuvo lugar en el Comando de la UPMA, ubicado en la ciudad de Quito, Ecuador.

UPMA es la unidad policial a cargo de la Unidad Canina especializada en vida silvestre que, actualmente, alberga a ocho Policías capacitados para guiar a los cuatro canes detectores de vida silvestre que fueron provistos por SSCS en el año 2015, para cooperar con la autoridad en la lucha contra el delito ambiental.

La capacitación, que duró tres días, abordó todos los aspectos del derecho penal ambiental y se enfatizó las situaciones de flagrancia, esto es, cuando alguien es descubierto en la comisión de un delito ambiental. En estas situaciones, la Policía debe actuar inmediatamente, asegurando el lugar y la evidencia, así como aprehendiendo a los sospechosos y poniéndoles a órdenes de las autoridades judiciales. Todo esto debe realizarse dentro un plazo corto de tiempo, lo cual puede ser complejo si los hechos ocurren en alta mar o en áreas remotas.

Los Policías que asistieron a la capacitación compartieron experiencias de la vida real, las que ayudaron para identificar las mejores estrategias para tomar procedimientos en materia ambiental, especialmente en asuntos relativos al delito contra la vida silvestre. Estas experiencias incluyeron un reciente caso sobre pepino de mar en Galápagos.

La capacitación también enfatizó la importancia de la aplicación de tratados internacionales, especialmente CITES. Esto es algo que SSCS ha promovido desde hace seis años, a través del proyecto Derecho Penal Ambiental y Conservación en Galápagos. Sobre el tema, los Policías conocieron los aspectos jurídicos y científicos relativos a las especies silvestres amenazadas.

La capacitación es una actividad del Proyecto Manutención de canes detectores de aletas de tiburón, pepinos de mar, penes de lobos marinos y vida silvestre de SSCS, que está planificada dentro de un convenio de cooperación suscrito con el Ministerio del Interior en el año 2014. La actividad estuvo originalmente planificada para ocho Policías que operan como guías caninos. No obstante, se resolvió con UPMA extenderla a 120 Policías considerando que varios de ellos pudieran, eventualmente, ser transferidos a Galápagos en el futuro. También se consideró la importancia de que este importante grupo de Policías reciban una capacitación en derecho ambiental. En tal virtud, se acordó la organización de tres cursos de capacitación. El primero tuvo lugar la primera semana de agosto y contó con la asistencia de 42 Policías y dos representantes del Ministerio del Interior. El segundo se realizará la última semana de agosto y el tercero en el mes de septiembre de 2016.

Malena García Díaz, coordinadora de proyectos de la oficina de Galápagos de SSCS resaltó la importancia de la capacitación para la Unidad Canina de Vida Silvestre en Galápagos. Ella espera que los conocimientos aprendidos sean aplicados en territorio para prevenir el delito contra la vida silvestre.

Text De / from UPMA commander:

Preservar la naturaleza hoy en día es de vital importancia, sobre todo en un país mega-diverso como es Ecuador, razón por la cual  se ha enmarcado en nuestra Constitución los derechos de la naturaleza para protegerla y preservarla a lo largo y ancho de todo el territorio nacional.

Día tras día el personal de la Unidad de Protección de Medio Ambiente de la Policía Nacional,  trabaja arduamente para garantizar que dichos derechos se respeten y se cumplan, evitando que nuestra flora y fauna silvestre desaparezca. 

Trabajo que se ha visto fortalecido gracias al apoyo de organismos nacionales e internacionales como Sea Shepherd Conservation Society en Ecuador, que con sus conocimientos y capacitación, nos brinda apoyo técnico para avanzar cada día en el trabajo de conservar el ambiente.

Mayor. Christian Salazar Flores
Comandante (Acc.)
Unidad de Protección del Medio Ambiente
Policía Nacional del Ecuador 

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