Launch with HE Minister of Agriculture and Forests and Tom Derksen SNV Managing Director Agriculture Feb 10 2013

Prevention of Wildlife Trade

Despite increased surveillance and deploying qualified and experienced staff in combating wildlife crime, the trade of wildlife, both flora and fauna, is on the rise.

Experts in the wildlife field are meeting to discuss ways to prevent wildlife trade in Bhutan. A four-day long workshop saw delegates from the Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS), International Fund for Animal Welfare-Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI) and INTERPOL to find suitable ways in the Prevention of Wildlife Trade (PWT) in the country.

The experts identified the commonly traded wildlife species of flora and fauna, international regulations for preventing wildlife trade, theory of wildlife crime and laws of the country and implementation at times of illegal wildlife trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fuana and Flora (CITES) that ensures that trade in flora and fauna is sustainable and traceable.

Speaking to the representatives of scientific and management authorities at the convention centre in Paro, the Minister for Agriculture and Forests, Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, in his keynote address during the workshop, said that Bhutan is globally known for its conservation leadership and the Constitution also mandates that 60 percent of the country remains under forest cover.

The Minister expressed his gratitude to the forest officials and stakeholders for their contribution and tireless effort in the preservation and monitoring of the pristine forest and wildlife.

The experts and other participants at the workshop delved on how to achieve legal, sustainable and traceable trade in wildlife, the number of species available and their treatment in sync with government policies, measures initiated, studies and researches conducted, market and trading methods.

The Chief of the Wildlife Conservation Division and CITES Management Authority of Bhutan’s DoFPS, Sonam Wangchuk, added that the rate of wildlife trade is globally exponential and such induction, he said, would help curb the ever increasing wildlife trade in Bhutan.

He added that the intervention of other stakeholders like, Royal Bhutan Police, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) and Revenue and Customs is critical in combating wildlife crimes.

The IFAW trainer Dr Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed made presentations on the various animal articles, products and concealment methods adopted by smugglers across the world. Further, the workshop also conducted practical sessions on identification of various wildlife found in the region and the overall global scenario of crimes associated with the trafficking of wildlife.

An expert with INTERPOL, Andreou Andreas, shared the common methods employed by the experts at various levels and institutions during the transportation and trade. The participants were also induced with other methodologies and proficiencies in fighting wildlife trade effectively.

The four-day workshop, held in Paro, on prevention of wildlife trade (PWT) ended yesterday. Forty-seven officials from the DoFPS, Department of Revenue and Customs, Royal Bhutan Police and Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority, Judiciary and Office of the Attorney General participated in the workshop. This is the second phase of the PWT in Bhutan and the first phase was conducted in 2011.

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