Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) is a network of professionals who are using their training to ensure timely investigation, prosecution and reporting of wildlife crime in Uganda in order to reduce on incidences of wildlife poaching and promote conservation of wildlife. Wildlife is the second foreign currency earner for the people of Uganda. The network will help in the building of law enforcement network among the members of the legal, media and the investigation fraternity in Uganda. The network will work with Uganda Wildlife Authority, judiciary, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, police and other non governmental organizations in their wildlife conservation initiatives. The networks will beside, working with the said partners supervise their wildlife crime investigation, prosecution and reporting to ensure that it directly influence positively on conservation of wildlife in Uganda.
1. To carry out investigation and arrest of wildlife criminals in Uganda
2. To follow up on wildlife crime registered in court to ensure their successful prosecution with appropriate sentences passed
3. Develop the capacity of the wildlife officers, courts and prosecution to enforce wildlife law.
4. To mentor investigators, journalists and prosecutors to investigate, report and prosecute wildlife crime in Uganda.
5. To mediate in Human-Wildlife Conflicts
Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) is a new generation NGO incorporated in Uganda in 2013 and have signed 10 years memorandum of understanding with Uganda wildlife Authority a statutory body mandated to conserve wildlife in Uganda to address the challenges of illegal trade in wildlife products. NRCN also have in house advocates / lawyers licensed by Director of public prosecution Uganda to privately prosecute wildlife crime. When the CITES meeting in Bangkok put Uganda (the pearl of Africa) among the gang of eight countries at the heart of an unprecedented surge in African elephant killing, NRCN founder member then resolved to do something to save the image of Uganda. This resulted to the incorporation of NRCN. In order to address the challenges of illegal trade in wildlife products in Uganda NRCN then agreed with Last Great Ape organization (LAGA) to replicate LAGA law enforcement project with moderation in Uganda.
This project operates at five different levels:
a) Investigation- Where a network of informers are developed to work with investigator in the investigation of commercial wildlife traffickers.
b) Arrest operation- upon investigation the operation team is formed to have the suspect arrested charged and arraigned for trial before the courts of law.
c) Prosecution- After arrests the prosecutors of NRCN swings in action after arrest and has the accused person arraigned in court and prosecuted within record time of 120 days. In the event that the result of the prosecution is not satisfactory the team always institutes an appeal. NRCN prosecutors are licensed by the Director of Public prosecution in Uganda to prosecute.
d) Media- NRCN also uses the power of the media to share with Ugandans and the rest of the world persons who are arrested in respect of illegal trade in wildlife products. The information is shared online, print and electronic media.
e) Corruption and connivances – Our team are aware of the fact that illegal trade in wildlife products are made possible by failure of the some people in the law enforcement circle to operate professionally . NRCN fight corrupt practices in wildlife crime law enforcement by ensuring that any public servant involved in the illegal trade or is in support of the traffickers to trade is arrested and arraigned in courts of law.