Malang (Greeners)- Protection of Forest & Fauna (ProFauna) Indonesia urged heavy penalties for illegal wildlife traders during global Earth Day, in Merdeka City Square, Malang, on Saturday (4/6).
Dwi Derma S, ProFauna Indonesia campaigner, said that illegal wildlife trading was still protected as law enforcement was lacking.
“We have been intensely campaigning against illegal wildlife trading,” said Derma.
Though illegal wildlife trading campaigns have been started since 1994, Derma said that the rate of illegal wildlife trading in Indonesia was high.
Citing UN and Interpol data, illegal wildlife trading reaches US$15-20 billion making it in line with illegal drugs and guns trading and human trafficking.
In 2015, Indonesia was reported to lose Rp 9 trillion due to lack of law enforcement against the traders. On March 2016, Soekarno-Hatta International Airpot Custom officers have managed to foil efforts illegal wildlife trading six times which were worth a total of Rp 21 billion.
However, law enforcement during 2015-16 had not been satisfying.
“From our record, only nine verdicts between January 2015 to May 2016 out of 120 cases or less than ten percent of those cases made it to trial,” he said adding that those verdicts were at minimum sentences.
One of them was a verdict on two illegal wildlife traders of Sumatran orangutan who got only 2.5 years by Pekanbaru Court on March 22, 2016.
“That was the highest sentence by the court which only account half of five years maximum under the 1990 Law on Natural Resources Conservation and Ecosystem,” he said.
In addition, maximum fine of Rp 100 million was never given to these traders though their incomes could have reached hundreds of millions in one transaction.
“The capacity of law enforcers, especially prosecutors and judges to understand that illegal wildlife trading is a serious global issue must be increased so traders got maximum penalties,” he said.
International Earth Day theme is Go Wild For Life : Zero Tolerance for the Illegal Wildlife Trade, meaning that the year is dubbed as the moment to stop tolerating all forms of illegal wildlife trading.
“Hard work of officials and activities in the field will be waste of time if the court keep sentencing those illegal traders with law punishment,” he said.
Reports by HI/G17