Earlier today, U.S. Ambassador Joseph Y. Yun and The Right Honorable Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tun Arifin Zakaria, presided over the opening ceremonies for the Second National Seminar on Environmental Justice at the Royal Belum Rainforest Resort, Gerik, Perak. This was followed by a Tree Planting Ceremony where the U.S Ambassador and the Chief Justice of Malaysia each planted a tree to symbolize the continued support and commitment in working together to tackle trafficking of endangered and protected wildlife as well as to advance key climate priorities and in galvanizing global action through international climate negotiations.
Over 50 Malaysian judges, prosecutors, ministry officials, enforcement officers, policy makers, NGO representatives and academics — as well as a senior jurist from the United States — have convened to share their knowledge, learn best practices, and establish working relationships to more effectively combat wildlife trafficking. This four-day workshop is a historic event in that it is the first time in Malaysia that judges along with all of the key stake holders in the environmental justice sector have come together to discuss issues of common interest in the administration of environmental justice and the combatting of wildlife trafficking.
The remainder of the workshop will include presentations and panels on the current state of the environment, wildlife trafficking criminal laws, the U.S. experience in wildlife trafficking cases, and best practices for improving environmental justice in Malaysia. The workshop will conclude with the participants drafting an action plan for the way forward in combatting wildlife trafficking and environmental justice in Malaysia.
The symposium was organized and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) and the Malaysian Judiciary. The Malaysian Judicial Appointments Commission and LexisNexis Malaysia also provided support for the workshop.