Third Annual Meeting of SAWEN Concluded

South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh organized its Third Annual Meeting on 26-27 October 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In the two days meeting, representatives from different government agencies of member countries other than Afghanistan and Pakistan were participated. More than 75 participants including representatives from stakeholders like CITES, INTERPOL, GTF, UNODC, WWF, USAID, GIZ and the World Bank attended the meeting.

Inaugurating the meeting honourable minister Mr. Anwar Hossain Manju, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Bangladesh, highlighted that inter-governmental and inter-organizations collaboration, coordination, commitment and action can reduce the poaching and illegal trade of wildlife. He further pointed out for concerted effort from all SAWEN member countries and other national and international organizations to control wildlife crime from the South Asia.

Mr. Gopal Prakash Bhattarai, Chief Enforcement Coordinator of SAWEN, acknowledged the efforts made by the respective SAWEN focal persons and agencies who constantly work for the endorsement of SAWEN Statute from five member countries-Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh-under their national procedure. He further emphasized for need of active collaboration from all the member countries and partner organizations more than ever to jointly safeguard our biodiversity from any form of illegal activities.

Speakers of the inaugural program highlighted the importance of wildlife conservation and primarily wildlife crime control in cooperation and collaboration. Remarkably, Government of Nepal announced the USD 100,000/- for the endowment fund. The meeting univocally approved the Resolutions.

The Third Annual Meeting of South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) held on 26-27 October 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh was concluded with following resolutions:

I.           

The endorsement of the SAWEN Statute by five out of eight member countries made the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) a legitimate inter-governmental organization in South Asia dedicated to enhance wildlife law enforcement.

II.

All the member countries attending the Third Annual Meeting are to implement the statute effectively and the member countries that are yet to endorse the Statute to take immediate steps and transmit the document to the appropriate government agencies for formal approval at the government level. Once the Statute is approved, the Focal Person from each country will transmit this to the SAWEN Secretariat.

III.

To expedite the process of recruiting the Secretary General and other staff, the SAWEN Principal Focal Person for Nepal with the support from the SAWEN Secretariat will develop a draft terms of reference (TOR) and share the same with the other Executive Committee members for approval.

IV.

The SAWEN secretariat will work to enhance collaboration, cooperation and partnership among law enforcement agencies and promote intelligence led law enforcement actions across the region through establishing central information sharing hub or by creating specific working groups for ensuring prompt and rapid actions to combat wildlife crimes.

V.

The SAWEN secretariat will assess and explore the possibility of integrating annual membership fees among the member countries, associate members, international partner members, and partner members to abide by the provisions on membership in the SAWEN Statute. The practicability and outcome of this assessment will be disseminated in the third Executive Committee meeting.

VI.

The member countries made commitments to strengthen ongoing efforts and accelerate coordination and communication amongst the SAWEN member countries and recognized the need for additional capacity building, technology transferring and training across the member countries.

VII.

In addition to identifying the need for SAWEN-specific procedures, member countries noted the existing mechanisms for intelligence exchange with ICCWC partners and other relevant organizations and come up with ways for establishing formal collaboration.

VIII.

The announcement made by the Government of Nepal to support SAWEN by committing USD 100,000/- (in words, USD one hundred thousand only) was highly appreciated and recognized by the meeting. The government of the other member countries, and international partner and partner organizations were also encouraged to make similar commitment.

IX.

The SAWEN Secretariat will finalize the venue and date for the first General Assembly in the third Executive Committee meeting.

X.

The SAWEN Secretariat extends sincere thanks to the host country, the Government of Bangladesh, and delegates from all the SAWEN member countries, international partners, and partner organizations for their contribution in the meeting.

Resolutions