Kathmandu, Aug. 25: The South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) is all set to hold the Second Annual Meeting here in the capital from 27-29 August.
According to a press release, the meeting will aim at further strengthening SAWEN by finalizing its statute and developing Action Plan for next six years.
The meeting further aims to provide a platform for sharing experiences, discussing common issues, reviewing performances, and enhancing collaboration with various partners and donors to combat wildlife crime in the region and the world, it is stated.
“Illegal wildlife trade and poaching of valued wildlife remain at an alarmingly high level in South Asia and elsewhere,” said Megh Bahadur Pandey, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and Chief Enforcement Coordinator of SAWEN. “We hope that this meeting will help in strengthening SAWEN and boosting its momentum in curbing wildlife trade in the region and beyong which stand as one of the most challenging issues in conserving biodiversity today,” he added.
The three days’ meeting will be attended by over 50 participants from governments of South Asian countries and various regional and international organizations working in combating wildlife crime. Wildlife law enforcement officers from the Chinese government will also be participating in the meeting.
Experts from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), The World Bank, INTERPOL, TRAFFIC, USAID, ASEAN-WEN, FREELAND Foundation and WWF Tigers Alive Initiative will also be participating in the meeting as observers.
SAWEN held its first annual meet in Sri Lanka in June, 2012. Nepal hosts the SAWEN Secretariat which is located in the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation building.
SAWEN is an inter-governmental body of South Asian countries represented by Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.