UNDP/GEF Project supports establishment of interagency antipoaching brigades in Altai-Sayan Ecoregion





Poaching is one of key the factors reducing numbers of the rare and endangered species in Altai-Sayan Ecoregion. The problem is intensified by the lack of coordination and interaction among various agencies responsible for conservation. UNDP/GEF Project “Biodiversity Conservation in the Russian Portion of the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion” works continuously with the regional authorities to help to overcome interagency barriers.


Supported by the UNDP/GEF Project, in March, 2007 the nature protection and law-enforcement agencies of Altai Republic signed an Agreement on the establishment of an interagency patrol brigade to combat poaching. A similar agreement was concluded in Tyva Republic in November, 2006. UNDP/GEF Project provided the groups with patrol vehicles, means of communication, other field equipment and financed their reids to the habitats of the Red Data Book species.


In 2007 in Altai and Tyva Republics there were 25 spot-checks made to the habitats of the rare and endangered species and within the protected areas, resulting in 133 reports on violation of the nature protection legislation. 71 fire-arms were confiscated. There were two cases of an illegal killing of snow leopards disclosed with their skins confiscated.


Local residents often become poachers, unaware, in most cases, of the nature protection legislation and liability for its violation. Therefore UNDP/GEF Project prepared in published in two languages (Russian and Altai and Tuvinian national languages) brochure “Responsibility for Poaching” in the Republics of Altai and Тyva. The book clarifies administrative and criminal responsibility for violation of the nature protection legislation and penalties for illegal hunting of animals listed in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation. The brochure as well describes some local traditions and give examples of sustainable nature management by the indigenous peoples of Altai and Тuva.

Given the urgent nature of the need to resolve the problems identified above, full support should be given to the new working group on judicial reform and the anti-corruption council. All pertinent parties whose interests may be affected by the work of these bodies should be fully involved in their activities.


• In tackling the problems facing the judiciary it is crucial to ensure transparency of legal proceedings and the functioning of the judicial system as a whole. In fact, this has been recognised by judicial authorities at different levels.

• Mechanisms for the rapid and comprehensive execution of judicial decisions should be established promptly.

• The existing procedures for providing free qualified legal assistance should be reviewed and best practices should be implemented throughout the country.

• The draft law on the establishment of a juvenile justice system should be adopted without delay.

• Renewed efforts should be taken to establish an administrative court system as this will strengthen the mechanisms to effectively fight corruption and to ensure the liability of state officials.

• As regards the prosecution, there is a need to analyse the results of the recently introduced reforms and their impact on the conduct of the investigation and judicial proceedings in general.

• The recently proposed amendments to the 2002 Federal law governing the activities of defense lawyers would compromise the principles of self-government and independence of the bar and, therefore, must not be adopted since they will run against existing international standards.

• Efforts should be made to ensure that lawyers can exercise their profession without intimidation or any other obstacles.

• The legitimate activities of non-governmental organisations, including their participation in the process of judicial reform, should be encouraged and facilitated.


The Special Rapporteur wishes to underscore his belief that the implementation of these recommendations will strengthen and deepen the process of judicial reform, which, in turn, will further promote democracy and allow the entire population of the country to enjoy the benefits of economic growth.


The Special Rapporteur once again would like to express his gratitude to the authorities of the Russian Federation for making this visit possible. He strongly hopes that the on-going and envisaged reforms will be implemented in the shortest possible time. The Special Rapporteur trusts that his recommendations will assist the authorities in this process and he would like to be in a position to review the progress made in the country in two years time.



Mr. Despouy was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers in September 2003. He has extensive experience in human rights and international humanitarian law and has held a number of high-level positions in the United Nations and the Government of Argentina. Currently he also serves as President of the Auditoría-General of Argentina.