EU Wildlife Forensic Conference

Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic with Charles University in Prague (Environmental Forensic Sciences Centre) and the European Commission are organising a conference on wildlife forensic science on 11-12 September 2024 in Prague.

Background

Wildlife forensic science is the application of different scientific methods in legal cases involving wild animal and plant biological evidence. Wildlife crime cases can involve illegal wildlife trade, poaching and animal cruelty. Experts are commonly called upon to identify species, determine the cause of death, identify pesticides and poisons or link individual animals to wildlife crime activities. Forensic methods used in the investigation of such cases include methods in the area of morphology, genetics, veterinary pathology, radiocarbon dating, chemistry etc. These methods have to be applied in a manner that will withstand judicial scrutiny. 

Conference Venue

The conference will take place in the Patriotic Hall of the Carolinum (Ovocný trh 5, Prague 1 – map), the main seat of Charles University located at the heart of Prague’s Old Town. This historical building has been owned by the university since 1383 and was used to serve as a residence for teaching professors.  

Objectives

  • Present new developments in the field of wildlife forensics, including current research projects in the EU and share best practices in this field.
  • Discuss applications of forensics in wildlife crime cases. 
  • Bring together law enforcement agencies and forensic experts to share information and enhance cooperation between them to prevent, detect and combat illegal wildlife trade.
  • Establish a networking platform for future cross border cooperation in the field of wildlife forensics within the EU.
  • Contribute to the implementation of the EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking (Objective 10 – urging the European Commission, Member States and other actors to organise cross-professional and cross-border training sessions including targeted training on better use of modern forensic methods).

Registration

The conference is addressed to representatives of the CITES Authorities of the Member States and the competent experts conducting wildlife forensic sciences.

Participation in the conference is free of charge. Travel and accommodation expenses are not covered by the organizer.

The registration deadline is 31 July 2024

Registration is valid only after email confirmation from the organizer. 

Important: Due to limited capacity of the conference hall, we kindly request you to register max. 2 persons per your institution as for the primary nomination. Participation of the additional persons will be subject to the availability of space.

Brief program outline

Wednesday, 11 September 2024Thursday, 12 September 2024
9:00-9:30 Registration in foyer of the Patriotic Hall9:00-16:00 Conference programme
9:30-17:00 Conference programme 
17:00-20:00 Cultural programme followed by conference dinner   

The conference agenda and other logistics details will be made available to registered participants in due course. Due to limited resources, the expenses for the social dinner are not covered by the organizers.

Call for presentations 

Any proposals for presentations related to the wildlife forensic science and its use in the investigation are welcome. Presentations may include information about research projects and their results, general casework, practical experience and suggestions etc. In order to maintain a balance between scientific-research related and case-related presentations, contributions from colleagues from enforcement are also sought. 

The length of a presentation should be between 15 and maximum 30 minutes. 

Some of the expected topics 

  • forensic methods and their use in wildlife crime investigation 
  • identification of CITES species including determination of specific products
  • determination of the age of products using radiocarbon dating
  • the use of genetics for wildlife forensic purposes (incl. genotype maps of pangolins, lynxes etc.)
  • cause of death determination (pathological examination of carcasses of protected animal species)
  • innovations in the analysis of carbofuran
  • sampling methodologies in cases of wildlife crime