SOUTH ASIAN COUNTRIES MEET AGAIN TO STRENGTHEN EFFORTS TO CURB WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING
Mr Bivesh Ranjan, IFS, Additional Director, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEF&CC) had inaugurated the workshop along with Dr Manoj Kumar, Joint Director, WCCB; and Mr Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India in New Delhi. Mr Rakesh Kumar Jagenia, IFS, Deputy Inspector General (DIG)- Wildlife, MOEF&CC, took an important session on the role of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and its implementation.
The nine-day workshop was attended by 28 officials from various law enforcement agencies, including Forest Departments, Customs, and Police, of Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. The workshop covered insights into the evolving illegal wildlife trade scenario in Asia, strategies, and new tools and techniques to help curb this menace. The format allowed discussions and experience sharing among participants, building cooperation and collaboration.
The training sessions included an overview of wildlife crime and illegal wildlife trade in South Asia; CITES and its implementation; coordination and cooperation for tackling wildlife crime in Asia; learnings from the successes of conservation; role of rangers; human-wildlife conflict fueling wildlife crime and illegal wildlife trade; role of an investigator; introduction to wildlife forensics; methods to identify certain wildlife species from derivatives and differentiate between counterfeit; plant identification; protocol for mortality of protected and regulated species and other species with case studies; wildlife crime scene management; sample collection; wildlife forensic evidence collection; seizure of live animals (exotic/native); handling live animals; wildlife cybercrime and cyber forensics.
Field sessions on search and collection, wildlife crime scene management, evidence collection, seizure of live animals (exotic/native)/ derivative and documentation process were also carefully designed and executed for the participants.
Subject experts from WCCB; National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Central Zoo Authority (CZA), Central Finger Print Bureau- NCRB; Centre for Cell and Molecular Biology (CCMB); Forest Research Institute (FRI); Wildlife Institute of India (WII); Lucknow Zoo; Madhya Pradesh Police Department,; and Uttarakhand Forest Department led the sessions.
The second ToT workshop is part of a unique regional project under implementation by TRAFFIC and WWF-India, in collaboration with the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), the Government of India, to help curb wildlife trafficking and illegal wildlife trade in South Asia. The first regional training was organised from November 21-29, 2023, in Dehradun and New Delhi.
The regional project aims to build the capacity of enforcement agencies and enhance cooperation and collaboration among South Asian countries to disrupt and deter wildlife trafficking in the region.
For any queries or more information, please contact Dr Merwyn Fernandes at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call him at +91 9820347492; or Dilpreet B. Chhabra at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call her +91 9899000472.
- To learn more about the first ToT workshop organised under the regional project – Countering wildlife trafficking in South Asia – please visit https://www.wwfindia.org/about_wwf/enablers/traffic/?26762/bhutan-india-and-nepal-collaborate-to-counter-wildlife-trafficking-in-south-asia
South Asia has evolved as a crucial source of poaching for wildlife trafficking, as well as a transit hub for illegal wildlife trade, as it is a rich biodiverse region and a home to many iconic wildlife species. Many of these species may be seriously endangered or even be on the brink of extinction. Rampant poaching and unscrupulous illegal trade of wildlife for the sale of hides, trophies, ornamental plants, musical instruments and for traditional medicine, often in outside markets, adds pressure on wildlife. Traffickers exploit the porous borders of South Asia to smuggle wildlife products and timber within the region and beyond to other lucrative international destinations.