New Delhi, April 13: As a step towards wildlife conservation, Government on Tuesday gave its approval for adopting the Statute of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN). Thereby, India will be becoming its formal member in order to strengthen ties with the member countries in controlling the trans-boundary wildlife crime through communication, coordination, collaboration, capacity building and cooperation in the region.
SAWEN, a Regional network is comprised of eight countries in South Asia which are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It aims at working as a strong regional inter¬governmental body for combating wildlife crime by attempting common goals and approaches for combating illegal trade in the region.
Adoption of SAWEN statute envisions India being part of the regional inter¬governmental body in combating wildlife crime in the region and beyond. Following objectives have been set to attain the goal:
• To take initiatives for bringing harmonization and standardization in laws and policies of member countries concerning conservation of fauna and flora;
• To document the trend of poaching and illegal trade, and related threats to the natural biodiversity within and across countries in the region;
• To strengthen institutional responses to combat wildlife crime by promoting research and information sharing, training and capacity building, technical support, sharing experiences and outreach; and
• To encourage member countries to prepare and implement their National Action Plans in curbing wildlife crime and to collaborate towards effective implementation.
The South Asia region is very vulnerable to illegal traffic and wildlife crimes due to presence of precious biodiversity and large markets as well as traffic routes for wildlife products in the south East Asian region. The collaboration in harmonising as well as enforcing the wildlife protection in the region is considered very important for effective conservation of such precious biodiversity.