Border security forces in Bihar take stock of wildlife crime in the region
TRAFFIC India in association with SSB (Sashastra Seema Bal) organized a two day workshop on “Strengthening Wildlife Law Enforcement and Conservation along Indo Nepal Border” at Bagaha, Bihar on 16-17 January 2012.This workshop was seventh in series organized jointly by Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and TRAFFIC.
The workshop was inaugurated by Mr H Jiten Singh, 2nd in Commandant, 21st Battalion SSB Bagaha. Also, present at the occasion were Mr Nand Kishore, IFS, DFO-Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Mr Saurabh Sharma- Advocate from the Delhi High Court of India, Mr Roy Choudhury from Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and Dr Rashid H Raza from TRAFFIC India, among other guests and participants.
Forty SSB officers along with officials from various forest divisions of Madanpur, Valmikinagar, Gonali and Chiutaha were present at the workshop. During the two days, participants were taken through various domestic and international trends in prevailing illegal wildlife trade, laws pertaining to this trade, role of CITES in regulating wildlife trade, latest tools and techniques available to fight wildlife crime, significance of intelligence sharing, and an overview of global organized wildlife crime.
Inaugurating the workshop, Mr. Singh said that such training workshops will help the SSB personnel and other participants in understanding the problems and will enhance their knowledge and skills. These workshops also provide a common platform for bringing together enforcement officials from various agencies to share their experiences and knowledge on this issue. He congratulated the efforts of TRAFFIC in supporting this.
Dr. Raza from TRAFFIC India in his deliberation discussed the overview of the wildlife crime and trade. He familiarized the participants with the illegal bird and big cat trade in India. Tiger, Leopard and otter skins, Rhino horn, Red Sanders, live elephants and ivory, bear bile, live birds are some of the key wildlife products and species being smuggled through this route to Nepal from where they make their way to other parts of the world.
Mr Sharma, Advocate from Delhi High Court in his session discussed the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and other ancillary laws related to wildlife crime. He also provided an insight into the investigation of wildlife cases and significance of collection of evidences for effective legal action.
Mr Roy Choudhury gave an overview of various modus operandi involved in wildlife crimes and profile of criminals involved in various wildlife crimes. He emphasized on the role that WCCB can play in assisting various enforcement agencies in combating illicit wildlife trade.
Resource material provided to the participants includes a printed compendium, CDs on various related themes and other books, posters etc. pertaining to wildlife law and enforcement issues. A copy of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, CRPC manual, handbook on wildlife law enforcement, owl trade report, and a pen drive containing questions from the year 2004-07 pertaining to wildlife raised in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have also been provided to participants for easy and ready reference. During the course of this workshop, wildlife forensic sample collection kits developed jointly by Wildlife Institute of India and TRAFFIC were distributed to the participants. The customized kit will enable the field staff to collect samples for forensic analysis as per the prescribed protocols. A demonstration of ivory identification kit was also given. This kit has been uniquely designed and adapted to examine ivory on the spot and will be full for the customs to check illegal ivory trade.