Experts gather in Kathmandu to combat wildlife crime
Kathmandu, August 27: The Second Annual Meeting of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network has kicked off on August 27 in Kathmandu. It would conclude on August 29, the organizer said.
The meeting is expected to further strengthen the Network through its statute completion and developing Action Plan for upcoming six years.
Likewise, platform would be developed for sharing experiences, discussing common issues, reviewing performances and enhancing collaboration with various partners and donors to combat wildlife crime in the region and the world, according to a press statement issued by the Network.
Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Mahesh Acharya inaugurated the function and called for inter-governmental partnership to control smuggling and poaching of wildlife.
Illegal wildlife trade and wildlife poaching has remained at an alarmingly high level in South Asia and elsewhere Coordinator of SAWEN Megh Bahadur Pandey said.
The meeting would focus on strengthening SAWEN and boosting its momentum against illegal trade of wildlife in the region and beyond.
More than 50 participants from South Asian countries and various regional and international organizations working in combating wildlife crime would make their presence.
Furthermore, experts from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), The World Bank, INTERPOL, TRAFFIC, USAID, ASEAN-WEN, FREELAND Foundation and WWF Tigers Alive Initiative will also be participating in the meeting as observers.
The Network held its first annual meet in Sri Lanka in June, 2012. Nepal hosts the SAWEN Secretariat which is located in the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation building.
SAWEN is an inter-governmental body of South Asian countries represented by Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.