Green Customs Workshop for Border Enforcement Officers at the India-Nepal Border

UNEP OzonAction, ROAP Compliance Assistance Programme, Green Customs Secretariats, Govt of India and Govt of Uttar Pradesh organized a Green Customs Workshop for Border Enforcement Officers at the India-Nepal Border, which was held at Sravasti, Uttar Pradesh from 30 November- 2 December 2009.

The main purpose of the workshop was to enhance capacity of the customs and other relevant enforcement personnel for monitoring and facilitating legal trade; and for detecting and preventing illegal trade in environmentally sensitive commodities such as ODS, harmful chemicals, hazardous wastes, and endangered species. Besides complementing and enhancing existing customs training efforts, the workshop was meant to raise awareness on all relevant international agreements and on the provision of assistance and tools available to the enforcement community.

Twenty four representatives from border enforcement agencies of India and Nepal (the Customs, border police, State police and SSB of India, etc.) and competent agencies implementing MEAs and Interpol National Central Bureau in Nepal participated in the workshop. Fourteen resource persons from Secretariat of Basel Convention, World Customs Organization (WCO) Regional Office for Capacity Building, WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Asia and the Pacific (RILO A/P), National Academy for Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN), India, TRAFFIC India, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India/Thailand and Freeland Foundation, made presentations on various MEAs and provided information on combating environmental crime to enforcement officers. The inauguration session of the workshop was also attended by 18 journalists and reporters from various international and local press.

Mr. Khalid Pasha, Coordinator- TRAFFIC India was invited at the workshop as one of the key resource persons. He spoke elaborately on issues related to illegal wildlife trade in India and across the borders. Mr. Pasha threw light on the important India-Nepal borders where enforcement needs to be strengthened inorder to curb illegal wildlife trade. He also provided information on the various species that are illegally traded across these borders and have large conservation implications. In relation to this, he also discussed international treaties/conventions binding trade in protected flora and fauna.
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