Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A three-day meeting of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) concluded in Kathmandu Friday, where it stressed the need for strengthening collaboration in fight against wildlife crime in the region including India and Pakistan.
“Strengthening trans-boundary cooperation and collaboration for intra-country law enforcement initiatives through intelligence sharing on poaching and trade trends, along with exchanging knowledge and skill for fighting wildlife crime across South Asia” was the unequivocal concern of the representatives of the South Asian countries at the meeting, said TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, in a release.
Push from the SAWEN member countries places the region firmly in spotlight of a growing international commitment to deal with increasingly organised illegal wildlife trade networks as part of a broader strategic approach to combat trans-national organised crime.
“The eight South Asian countries finalised and endorsed the SAWEN Statute and updated their collaborative roadmap for fighting wildlife crime in South Asia,” TRAFFIC said.
“The Statute clearly details the vision, goal, objectives and the crucial role that SAWEN will play in combating wildlife crime in the region,” it said.
The Statute, endorsed by member country delegates to the meeting, will now await final endorsement from the governments of the eight South Asian countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Th meeting was attended by a number of international donors including the World Bank, USAID and the US Department of State.
Expert input was provided by the international community in support of the eight member countries and the SAWEN Secretariat.
This included INTERPOL, the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), The World Bank, TRAFFIC, WWF Tigers Alive Initiative and WWF-Nepal.
(With PTI Inputs)