The Union Cabinet gave its nod for India adopting the statute of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) which will help in checking cross border wildlife crimes.
The approval by the Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi allows the country to become a formal member of SAWEN 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 is a regional network comprises eight countries in South Asia --Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka-- and aims at working as a strong regional intergovernmental body for combating wildlife crimes by attempting common goals and approaches for combating illegal trade in the region.
Modi had after inaugurating the third Asia ministerial conference on tiger conservation yesterday announced that India was moving towards formally adopting the statute of SAWEN.
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 region.
The collaboration in harmonising as well as enforcing the wildlife protection in the region is considered very important for effective conservation of biodiversity.
Elaborating on the objectives of the adoption of the statute, the statement said India along with other member countries will take initiatives to bring "harmonisation and standardisation" in laws and policies to conserve fauna and flora and will also document the trend of poaching, illegal trade and related threats to the natural biodiversity.
The objectives also include strengthening 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.