Kathmandu, August 31, 2014 (Press Trust of India): South Asian countries, including India, have endorsed a statute to develop an action plan for the next six years for working collaboratively to fight wildlife crimes.
The Second Annual Meeting of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) concluded in Kathmandu on Friday finalising and endorsing the SAWEN Statute and updated their collaborative roadmap for fighting wildlife crime in South Asia.
A statement released by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) here said: "Strengthening transboundary 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.
"This push from the SAWEN member countries places the region firmly in the spotlight of a growing international commitment to dealing with increasingly organised illegal wildlife trade networks as part of a broader strategic approach to combat trans-national organised crime", the statement said.
The three day meeting was particularly successful in adopting the 'SAWEN statute' and beginning an intense process for developing an action plan for the next 6 years.
The statute clearly describes the vision, goal, objectives and the crucial role that SAWEN will play in combating wildlife crime in the region.
The statute, endorsed by member country delegates to the meeting, will now await the final endorsement from the governments of the eight South Asian countries, the statement said.
Various international donors including the World Bank, USAID and the US Department of State also took part in the meeting.
"Minimising illegal wildlife trade from South Asia is crucial to the conservation of wildlife in the region," said Megh Bahadur Pandey, Chief Enforcement Coordinator of SAWEN.
"Countries cannot fight highly organised and globalised wildlife crimes in isolation and need to collaborate and cooperate with other countries and partners," he added.
(With PTI & Business Standerd Inputs)