Experience sharing program held

The SAWEN Secretariat organized a virtual experience sharing program in participation of focal persons and representatives from the SAWEN member countries. The program was held virtually on 04 August 2021. Opening of the program, Deepak Kumar Kharal, PhD, Chief Enforcement Coordinator (CEC) of SAWEN highlighted objectives of the program and elucidated the rational of being held such program adding the subject matter chosen for this edition. Dr. Kharal shared that this is the first experience sharing of its kind organized by SAWEN by emphasizing exchange of information and intelligence is one of the major inputs in combating wildlife crime especially transborder illegal wildlife trade.

For this episode, the Secretariat coordinated with Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), India to share experiences on successful operations carried out under its umbrella in the fight against wildlife crime. WCCB exemplified itself in controlling wildlife crime activities through various efforts including nationwide operations and achieving success that have been recognized by national and international communities.

Ms. Tilotama Varma, Additional Director, WCCB-India and SAWEN Focal Person of India shared details of the operations carried out by WCCB-India since 2016 focusing on different themes. The operations include 'operation Kurma', 'Lesknow-I, II, III', 'Wildnet-I, II, III', 'Birbal', 'Freefly', 'Softgold', 'Cleanart' and others along with actively engaging in global operations. The WCCB succeeded in identifying and arresting wildlife offenders; documenting criminal profiles; seizure of large quantity of live wildlife and wildlife commodities; generating advisories after each operation; initiate for purple notices as result of the operations.

An active discussion session was held after completion of the presentation from WCCB-India. Focal Persons and representatives briefly shared wildlife crime scenario, put their views on shared presentation and also requested for more information about the particular operations. In continuation of such program, all the member countries agreed to conduct similar program in certain interval focusing learnings of the member countries and exposure program by inviting international speakers, researchers and trainers in relevant subject matter in future.

With remarks of the focal persons, the program was concluded with special thanks to WCCB-India for comprehensive elaboration of the operations along with points of consideration for future actions useful for other SAWEN member countries.