SAWEN took part in a CITES Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles Task Force (Task Force) meeting held by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat on 25-27 April 2017 in Singapore. Major objective of the task force meeting was to discuss on wider prospects of illegal trading and other prominent issues in tortoise and freshwater turtles and to provide recommendations for upcoming CITES standing committee meeting. Recalling the decisions [17.295 paragraph (a) and 17.296 on Tortoises and freshwater turtles (Testudines spp.) (TFT)] made by the Conference of the Parties to the CITES during the 17th meeting (CoP 17, Johanesburg, 2016), the CITES Secretariat convened the meeting.
Four member countries of SAWEN-Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka-were invited in the meeting. Representing the SAWEN, Mr. Pradeep Bhattarai, Environment Officer, was attended the meeting and made a presentation entitled 'Illegal trade of turtles and tortoises in South Asia'. India highlighted ongoing operation in India namely 'Operation Save Kurma' and other three member countries presented country specific TFT status, offences and challenges. In the meeting, CITES Management Authorities of, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United States of America and Vietnam as well as agencies working in wildlife crime control were participated. More than 20 participants were participated in the meeting.
The Task Force meeting developed a number of strategies and proposed actions on information and intelligence sharing, cooperation, illegal trade on the internet, species identification, seizures and disposal, public awareness and empowerment, and others.
For more (press release) on CITES website.