January 31, 2011

TRAFFIC: South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network Launched in Bhutan

Filed under: Asia, biodiversity — inece @ 4:15 pm

TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, reported that a South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) was formally launched at an inter-governmental meeting hosted by the Royal Government of Bhutan on 30 January 2011.  From the press release:

Image credit Peter HarrisonIllegal wildlife trade is a form of trans-national organized crime that threatens many iconic species across the world. South Asia, home to a diverse network of natural ecosystems and varied biodiversity, is especially vulnerable to such threats. Apart from key species such as tigers, elephants and rhinos, there are a variety of medicinal plants, timber, marine species, birds and reptiles are threatened by illegal exploitation and trafficking.

To counter such threats, the eight countries of South Asia [Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka] have come together to establish an organized and co-ordinated body— the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN). …

The critical points decided by the Experts Group during the meeting were:-

  • An agreed action-oriented work plan for joint activities, some of which will begin immediately and which will continue to develop further as the network gathers strength;
  • Establishing a SAWEN Secretariat, which will be hosted by the Government of Nepal;
  • An agreed governance and operational structure for SAWEN;
  • The need for strategic collaboration on communications and fundraising.

…“With the formal operation of SAWEN beginning henceforth, the countries of the region have now reached a milestone in their efforts to counter the spectre of illegal wildlife trade,” said Samir Sinha, TRAFFIC’s programme head in India. “This is an essential piece of a collective effort to conserve a region of outstanding biological richness and diversity.”

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