India's Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and officials of the Royal Bhutan Police have stressed the need to curb illegal wildlife trade.
Addressing a workshop Deputy Inspector General of the SSB, Jagdeep Pal Singh called for coordinated efforts by the SSB and the Royal Bhutan Police to mount a vigil against wildlife crime and illegal trade across the international border. Over 70 men in uniform and officials from the Bhutan government participated in two recent back-to-back sensitisation workshops on "Preventing Wildlife Crime and Illegal Wildlife Trade" organised by the SSB at two Border Outposts. These workshops were supported by biodiversity conservation organisation "Aaranyak" with the objective to create synergy with the Bhutanese authorities to check such crimes.
The SSB's 64th Battalion Commandant N K Tamta appreciated Aaranyak's cooperation and underlined the "Sustained efforts to sensitise the important role that the border guarding personnel can play in preventing wildlife crime and illegal trade in the greater interest of conservation of the precious flora and fauna in the biodiversity-rich Eastern Himalayas."
Battalion Commandant Lokesh Kumar Singh said "It is important to understand that when we enter the forest, we have entered the home of these wild animals. We have to be respectful to them and make sure they are safe. If we do not save wildlife and the environment, our future generations will have nothing to call a home."
The officials from the Bhutan government attending both the workshops appreciated the presentations of Aaranyak resource persons as an eye-opener to the burgeoning wildlife crime and illegal trade that has volume-wise become the fourth largest illegal global trade after drugs, human trafficking and arms.
The Aaranyak team while making their presentations said that wildlife crime and illegal trade is not only posing a grave threat to global biodiversity but also to the security of the countries as it is in some cases found linked to terrorism, drugs and arms smuggling.
Resource person Dr Jimmy Borah flagged the modus operandi of the global network of wildlife (both flora and fauna) criminals and traders and how China and Vietnam stand out as the primary destinations of the illegal wildlife trade.
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