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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Police personnel sensitised on wildlife crimes along Indo-Myanmar border

GUWAHATI:

The Manipur police and other officials manning the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Moreh in Manipur along the India-Myanmar border have been urged to treat wildlife crimes, especially the burgeoning illegal trade in wildlife at par with crimes like drugs smuggling, clandestine arms trade which are a threat to the national security and economy.

“Wildlife crimes including illegal global trade in wildlife parts which transcends countries’ frontiers, is the 4th largest after drugs trafficking, weapons smuggling and human trafficking and must not be considered just a wildlife conservation related crime and all these are intricately related,” observed a team of resource persons from the Legal and Advocacy Division (LAD) of Aaranyak, A biodiversity conservation and research organisation, during a sensitization programme held at the ICP, Moreh recently..

The team from Aaranyak stated that given the complexity of various dimensions of wildlife crimes and the global network of these criminals, it is not possible for any single agency to check it, and therefore called for joint action from all departments.

Making a presentation at the workshop, Dr Jimmy Borah, senior manager of LAD in Aaranyak, flagged why forces deployed in border areas of the country are required to be highly vigilant against the wildlife crimes that pose a grave threat to the biodiversity as well as the economy of the country.

He cited reports about the linkage of wildlife crimes with the illegal trade in drugs and weapons that also involve insurgents and hence said transboundary movement of illegal wildlife must be prevented as much as possible.

He highlighted the way land, sea and air routes are used by wildlife criminals in transhipping wildlife across the globe besides flagging the provision of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 as well as the CITES convention in dealing with wildlife crimes.

Ivy Farheen Hussain, a project officer in Aaranyak, in her presentation highlighted the local perspective of wildlife crime and the roles of various stakeholders in preventing and mitigating it.

She presented how efficient site security, raising awareness of various stakeholders and efficient prosecution of wildlife criminals can have a combined impact on checking wildlife crimes.

Presenting findings of a study conducted on wildlife crime taking place across the India-Bhutan border in western Assam areas, the Aaranyak official drove home that mounting vigil against wildlife crime along the international border areas is of much importance.

Noted among those who attended the workshop were T Baite, manager of ICP, SK Gauate,

superintendent of customs, ICP, YK Anand Singh, immigration official, Elangbam Dayananda Singh of Customs Preventive Force, RK Gunadhar Singh, an inspector in the customs department.

Organised in collaboration with Customs Preventive Force and with support from US Fish and Wildlife Service, 28 select personnel from various government agencies, including the Customs Department, Immigration Bureau, ICP, Land Port Authority of India and Manipur Police attended the programme.

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