Notification to the Parties
No. 2000/071 Geneva, 14 December 2000
Technical information on
DNA Analysis in Wildlife Forensics and Forensic Analysis of Wildlife Crimes
1. The Secretariat wishes to bring to the Parties' attention the publication of two technical bulletins of particular interest that have been produced by NAWEG (North America Wildlife Enforcement Group):
a) DNA Analysis in Wildlife Forensics (March 2000); and
b) Forensic Analysis of Wildlife Crimes (May 2000).
2. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and Naweg have prepared these bulletins as a contribution to the control of wildlife crime. They are not meant to be comprehensive instruction manuals, but rather provide recent information on the possibilities offered by the techniques they offer.
3. DNA Analysis in Wildlife Forensics
This bulletin gives an overview of the use of DNA analysis in wildlife forensics.
In addition to giving background information, it discusses the range of questions that can be answered by DNA analysis. The subjects dealt with include species identification, gender determination, individual identification, parent-offspring relationship, population identification, etc. The limitations of DNA analysis are also presented.
4. Forensic Analysis of Wildlife Crimes
This bulletin covers the types of forensic analysis currently available to officers investigating wildlife crimes.
A wide variety of forensic techniques are available to help wildlife officers investigate wildlife crimes. As new scientific advances are applied to forensic analysis, the number, potential and possible applications of these techniques are constantly increasing.
Information is provided on the analysis of both biological evidence (relating to identification of species, individual or population) and non-biological evidence (relating to footprint and tyre-tread impressions, ballistics, fingerprints and examination of documents of questionable origin).
5. Both documents discuss the collection and handling of evidence and how to ship samples to avoid contamination and spoilage. In addition, there is reference to information on legal requirements for prosecution.
6. These bulletins are published in English, French and Spanish and can be obtained from:
Enforcement Cooperation Program
393, rue St-Jacques ouest, bureau 200
Canada, H2Y 1N9
Tel.: +1 (514) 350 4334
Fax: +1 (514) 350 4314
7. NAWEG and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)
In 1993, Canada, Mexico and the United States of America signed the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and created the CEC. One objective of NAAEC is to build regional cooperation for the conservation, protection and enhancement of the environment. The NAAEC also commits each Party to the effective enforcement of its environmental laws, including those for the protection of wild fauna and flora.
Naweg participates in this forum for regional cooperation, exchange of expertise, building of enforcement capacity and exploration of alternative approaches to effective enforcement. NAWEG provides expertise in identifying priorities for regional cooperation in the protection of North American wildlife.
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