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WWF-Pakistan concludes second consultative workshop to combat illegal wildlife trafficking

Posted on 10 February 2016

Islamabad, WWF-Pakistan concludedthetwo-consultative workshop to develop a strategy to combat illegal wildlife trade in Pakistan. The closing ceremony of the event was held at Hillview Hotel, Islamabad. This workshop was part of the project Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade by Establishing a National Monitoring Network that Benefits Local Communities and Environment today, supported by USAID through its Small Grants and Ambassadorís Fund Program.

Syed Mahmood Nasir, Inspector General Forests, Ministry of Climate Change concluded the event. He appreciated the fact that the workshop included representation of all major stakeholders that have a critical role in the battle against illegal wildlife trade, and is an important milestone to eliminate wildlife crime from the country. He also emphasised that such an event is an excellent opportunity to further strengthen the knowledge and skills of lawenforcement agencies and to develop partnerships amongst them to effectively curb wildlife crimes.He also pointed out that the wildlife traffickers have been seen adopting new strategies to transport wildlife illegally, thus highlighting the need for lawenforcement agencies to adopt to new technologies to tackle the challenge. He quoted the recent incidence of the seizure of black spotted pond turtles at Lahore airport, in which 144 anesthetized turtles were carried wrapped in a crockery consignment.

Dr. Ejaz Ahmad, Senior Director, WWF-Pakistan, highlighted the need for government agencies to be proactive in effective enforcement of existing laws to curb illegal wildlife trade. He also shed light on various aspects of the project funded by USAID through its Small Grants and Ambassadorís Fund Program and informed participants that WWF plans to bring all relevant stakeholders on-board to formulate a national level action plan to control illegal wildlife trade in the country.

This two-days of this event included a consultation, focusing on developing an action plan to combat illegal wildlife trade in Pakistan. Experts from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) wildlife departments, Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan Customs, Federal Judicial Academy, WWF-Pakistan shared the national and provincial scale efforts being made to combat illegal wildlife trade and challenges associated to tackle this issue effectively. The agenda of this consultation workshop focused on identifying gaps in existing laws that deal with wildlife crimes in the country, enhancement of inter-departmental coordination and confiscated wildlife welfare aspects. The recommendation of this workshop will be compiled in the form of an actionplan. Findings of a market study conducted by the WWF as part of theproject, which assessed the scale of illegal wildlife trade in the country, will also be presented during this event.

Notable participants included SafdarAli Shah, Chief Conservator Wildlife KP, Abdul Razzaq, Director Wildlife and Fisheries Department AJK, Suleiman Yaqub, Deputy Director, Directorate Training and Research (Pakistan Customs), Zahoor Akter Raja, Collector Customs, Dr. Sadiq Ullah Khan, Deputy Director Pakistan Customs, Umeed Khalid, Conservator of Wildlife, Ministry of Climate Change, Sammar Hussain Khan, Assistant Secretary Wildlife, Ministry of Climate Change, senior officials of the KP and AKJ Wildlife Department, Rescue 1122, Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Zoological Survey of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam University, Arid Agriculture University,etc.

This workshop isone of three such events conducted in different cities to develop a national level strategy to combat wildlife crimes in the country.

The two-day consultative workshopwill be followed by training sessions aimed to enhance the capacity of field staff of theKP and AJKwildlife departments, Pakistan Customs, Civil Aviation Authority, other law enforcement bodies as well as, Rescue 1122 to equip them with the basic skills to effectively tackle the wildlife trade related crimes. The training will familiarise participants with the species that are in high trade demand, common form in which their trade occurs, international regulations as well as national and provincial laws governing wildlife trade such as CITES and Pakistan Wild Trade Control Act 2012, etc.


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Media Relations at WWF-Pakistan

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