The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and Aaranyak organized a day-long workshop in Guwahati to sensitize the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel on dealing with wildlife crimes and detecting wildlife products.
The workshop was organized as part of an initiative taken by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and biodiversity conservation organisation Aaranyak to hold a series of workshops with key stake holders in transport sector who can help mitigate or check the illegal trade in wildlife parts.
The clandestine but burgeoning trade in illegal wildlife parts/products has reached an alarming proportion across the globe posing a serious threat to wildlife resources on the planet.
Prevention of wildlife crimes like poaching and trade in wildlife parts remains a Himalayan task for enforcement agencies and needs high-level coordination among various agencies including police, intelligence agencies, security forces, frontier guards and transport sector key stakeholders.
An adequate level of awareness about the alarming global scenario of wildlife crimes and law provisions in vogue to deal with such crimes in respective country among all concerned agencies and forces is of prime importance to motivate the personnel from these agencies to act promptly on wildlife crime cases.
The initiative of organizing a series of workshops has been taken in this backdrop.
The main purpose of organizing the workshop to sensitise the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel deputed in Northeast India was to emphasize the importance of transport sectors in curbing wildlife crimes by intervening in the supply chain of illegal wildlife trade through proper detection.
The programme, inaugurated by Shamsul Arfin, assistant security commissioner of RPF at Guwahati on Thursday, was attended by around 35 RPF personnel.
The workshop, organised at Maligaon in Guwahati, the capital city of Assam, started with a presentation by Dr. Jimmy Borah, senior manager of legal and advocacy division (LAD) of Aaranyak, who spoke about the transportation industry and illegal wildlife trade.
He also mentioned how railways can play a critical role in identifying and strengthening key risk points in the supply chain and they are becoming increasingly vulnerable to exploitation by illegal wildlife traffickers.
“Examples were shown on how high-value as well as lesser-known wildlife products are hidden in carry-on or checked-in luggage. Stress was also given on cooperation and collaborations among different enforcement agencies for reducing wildlife crime,” Aaranyak said in a press statement.
Hiten Borah, intelligence assistant from WCCB spoke about the laws and regulations to help RPF in handling wildlife crime cases. He spoke extensively on different sections under WLPA (1972).
He also spoke about how to identify wildlife products during checking and scanning of baggage.
“Practical session was organised with the staff members of Railway Protection Force (RPF) to help them identify with common illegal wildlife products seized across the country,” the statement said.
It was stressed that awareness campaigns are aimed at the public and railway authorities were required to widen the understanding of illegal wildlife trade and trafficking of threatened species involved which in long term can help conservation of biodiversity of the region, it said.
“Aaranyak in collaboration with WCCB will now work with agencies like Indian Railways and Airport Authority to highlight how such frontline transport agencies can help to curb wildlife crimes and trade in wildlife products,” the statement further said.