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WWF-Pakistan organises training workshop for law enforcement agencies at Benazir Bhutto International Airport

Posted on 21 September 2016

Islamabad, WWF-Pakistan, in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Ministry of Climate Change, organised a training workshop to build capacity of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to combat illegal wildlife trade at Benazir Bhutto International Airport. Participants of the event included personnel from the Anti-Narcotics Force, Airport Security Forces, Civil Aviation Authority and Pakistan Customs.

Training experts from WWF-Pakistan and the Ministry of Climate Change shed light on numerous aspects and scale of illegal wildlife trade, and the various forms in which this trade takes place. Participants were familiarised with species that are considered high in trade demand and how to accurately identify them. They were also given hands-on training on the rescue and handling of wildlife once confiscated. Experts also informed participants about international regulations as well as national and provincial laws governing wildlife trade such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Pakistan Wild Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora Act, 2012.

Through various group discussions key challenges faced by LEAs in the field were identified and addressed and participants were introduced to a number of mobile phone applications to help identify endangered wildlife and species listed on CITES.

Syed Mehmood Nasir, Inspector General of Forests, Ministry of Climate Change, in his concluding remarks appreciated the efforts of WWF-Pakistan in organising such capacity building workshops and deemed it them an excellent learning opportunity for departments responsible for curbing illegal wildlife trade in Pakistan. He was of the opinion that LEAs, when equipped with the right knowledge on various aspects of illegal wildlife trade, will ensure improved surveillance on wildlife traffickers.

AmanullahAlvi, Airport Manager, Benazir Bhutto International Airport, acknowledged the fact that such events provide an excellent platform for relevant departments to work together for improved collective efforts to curtail illegal wildlife trade. Rab Nawaz, Senior Director, WWF-Pakistan in the concluding remarks acknowledged that WWF-Pakistan, with financial support of USAID through its Small Grants and Ambassador Fund Program, has set common ground for law enforcement agencies to continue and collaborate in future in order to control crimes committed against wildlife.

This workshop was the last in the series of consultative and training workshops, which were conducted as part of the project titled Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade by Establishing a National Monitoring Network that Benefits Local Communities and Environment to develop a national level strategy against the illegal wildlife trade and building capacity of the relevant law-enforcement agencies to curb wildlife crimes in Pakistan.

The event was organised with the financial support of USAID through its Small Grants Ambassador Fund Program.


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