Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018. 10:23 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Forty-two law enforcement officers, representing the Police Department, Forest Department and its partners, participated in a “Green Laws” training at the Tropical Education Centre on February 8-9.
The two-day training, organized by the Belize Forest Department, through the Key Biodiversity Areas project, is part of ongoing efforts to enhance the capacity of law enforcement officers to combat illegal forest and wildlife crimes.
According to the Forest Department facilitators, the training is the first in a series of “Green Laws” training targeting key law enforcement officials to become versed in the Forests Act CAP 213, the National Protected Areas System Act, No.17 of 2015, and the Wildlife Protection Act, CAP 220 of the Laws of Belize.
Chief Forest Officer, Wilber Sabido, stated that one of the key challenges in safeguarding our forest resources is often-times our limited capacity to respond to forest crimes and our need to revise our legal frameworks. He added that as our first-line of defense against forests crimes, forest rangers and police officers need to have a good knowledge and understanding of our “Green laws”.
Sabido also explained that apart from the officers learning about the offenses and penalties prescribed under the laws, the training sessions also offer officers opportunities to identify much needed legislative revisions and to discuss appropriate legal approaches to address forest illegalities.
The Forest Department, through the Key Biodiversity Project, continues to provide support through capacity building, legislative reforms, and the establishment of a Compliance Management Unit.
They aim to train over 200 law enforcement officials in “Green Laws” by the end of this year.
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