U.S. and India Cooperate to Combat Illegal Trade in Wildlife
At the roundtable--which was organized by the U.S. Embassy and WWF/TRAFFIC India--U.S. and Indian government officials, NGOs, wildlife lawyers and enforcement officials discussed some of their challenges, and successes in combating wildlife trafficking.
Under Secretary Hormats emphasized the need for high-level political will, public outreach, and greater international coordination and cooperation to combat wildlife trafficking, including the strengthening of regional enforcement networks such as the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN).
WWF India Secretary General and CEO Singh noted the intimate link between the decline of India’s wildlife species, and alarming trends in illegal wildlife trafficking. “It is imperative that issues of illegal wildlife trade should be taken up in a strategic manner, linking national agencies and senior government executives. Here, the U.S. government can be an important partner on global wildlife intelligence, networking and sharing of best practices in enforcement.”
Dr Shekhar Kumar Niraj, Head-India chapter of TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, highlighted the magnitude of wildlife crime and illegal wildlife trade, and how it has evolved to be one of the most important challenges in conservation of species today. Whether at the local, regional or global, the efforts to eliminate wildlife crimes need to be assisted collectively with our trained skills, scientific knowledge, and improved resources.
The United States and India have worked together on wildlife conservation for over twenty-five years. We will continue to work together to combat poaching, manage our wildlife resources, improve enforcement capacity, and reduce consumer demand for illegal wildlife products.
Dilpreet B. Chhabra at 9899000472 and Dr. Shekhar Kumar Niraj at 09445721157