WCS, SSB offer training in wildlife trafficking and enforcement

3 weeks, 3 days ago 0
Posted in: From WCS-India

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)-India in collaboration with Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Lalpool, conducted a one-day training program to provide the participants insights into wildlife trafficking issues and its enforcement.

Participants at the training program

The training began with an inaugural session, where Commandment Rohit Ashwa welcomed the WCS team as well as the participants of the workshop who came from SHQ Bomdila and SHQ Bezpara. He placed emphasis on the importance of this workshop in helping them to detect wildlife trade and trafficking.

Gargi Sharma, deputy project manager, CWT, WCS, started the sessions with an introduction to wildlife trade. She spoke of India being one of the top markets for illegal supplies as the country is a hotspot for wildlife bio-diversity. The maps and trade channels gave the participants useful insights into the trade routes through north east India. Quantitative data was used to show the gravity of the situation.

Gargi Sharma briefing the participants on Wildlife Trade

Anirban Chaudhuri, project coordinator, CWT, WCS-India, presented his talk on the commonly traded species of mammals and their identification. He listed out ways to distinguish real ivory, tooth, claws, hair, etc., from fake ones. Participants were shown a couple of videos, one of which was about the illegal wildlife trade in Myanmar, and the other on how pangolins were ruthlessly harvested for their scales and meat. Further, he focused on reptiles and birds. He also conducted a brief session on exotic species and species identification.

Anirban Chaudhuri’s session on Identification of Species

Pradipty Bhardwaj, legal trainer, CWT, WCS, introduced the trainees to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. She pointed out the activities prohibited under the Act with the help of examples along with punishment prescribed for species under different schedules. During this session, participants were also made to understand the difference between ‘hunting’ and ‘poaching’, ‘arms’ and ‘weapons’ as mentioned under the Act.

Pradipty Bhardwaj delivering legal session

In the concluding session, D.P. Bankhwal, IFS (retd), offered an overview of the importance of search and seizure and explained the role of SSB in detecting and combating wildlife trafficking, especially in the north east region of India.

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