Posted on 12 June 2023
11 June 2023, Thakurdwara, Bardia
: The third National Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) Workshop was inaugurated on June 11, 2023, with more than 100 representatives from WCCB central and district offices from across the country with the participation of Chief Conservation Officers from National Parks/ Wildlife Reserves/Conservation Areas and Divisional Forest office, Government layer, Nepal Army, Armed Police Force, Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police and conservation partner organizations like WWF Nepal, NTNC, ZSL Nepal.
Under government leadership, Nepal has achieved considerable strides in limiting illegal wildlife trade throughout the years, with the integrated efforts of the Park authorities, Nepal Police, Nepal Army, Armed Police Force, Divisional Forest Offices, other government bodies and the local people, as well as the backing of conservation partner such as WWF Nepal, NTNC and ZSL.
In 2010, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) was founded to promote national inter-agency cooperation. The WCCB is led by the Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and is represented by law enforcement organizations such as the Nepal Police, Nepal Army, the National Intelligence Department, Custom etc. Since its inception, WWF Nepal has been a member of the WCCB and has helped to establish district-level WCCB cells all over the nation. Along with providing the required tools like cameras, GPS, laptop computers, and other items, WWF Nepal also supports capacity building assisted members and workshops. The first National WCCB Workshop was conducted in Kathmandu on June 11-12, 2019, while the second was hosted online on July 22-24, 2020, due to covid with the support of WWF Nepal. This time, the workshop has been organized by the Central Wildlife Crime Control Bureau with the support WWF Nepal and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) program.
. Birendra Prasad Mahato
, Hon'ble Minister, Ministry
of Forest and Environment inaugurated the workshop and, in his address, emphasized the importance of management in conservation. He mentioned that local community participation is the way forward and essential for conservation management to progress. The emphasis should now be on new technologies and real-time solutions, which are critical for a speedy response if a crime is committed.
The inauguration ceremony was also addressed by Secretary of Ministry of Forestry and Environment, Dr. Rewati Raman Paudel, Mayor of Thakurbaba Municipality Mr. Tilak Ram Lamsal, the Director General of Department Forest and Soil Conservation, Mr. Devesh Mani Tripathi, the Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Dr. Maheshwar Dhakal and conservation partners including Mr. Jarrad D. Scott from United States Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
Mr. Scott, in his opening remarks congratulated Nepal on achieving TX2, zero poaching of Rhinos, and complimented Nepal’s conservation efforts. He also emphasized the importance of the conservation of “less charismatic” species like Red Panda, Pangolin.
Dr. Rewati Raman Paudel in his address, emphasized the need to educate the next generation by incorporating the issues of wildlife crime into the school curriculum as well as educating local people, resulting in a new generation of wildlife-friendly community.
Dr. Maheshwar Dhakal concluded the inaugural ceremony by highlighting the importance of rigorous regulations and criminal penalties for wildlife crime. He stated that the law-and-order process should be made more efficient and effective, and that steps should be implemented to increase our abilities to combat wildlife crime.
The workshop focused on discussions and interactions about illegal wildlife crime control order 2023, crime control strategic plan, techniques, aspects, money laundering and management of criminal assets, role of community, global crime situation by subject matter experts and group review by participants.
The conference's recommendations and conclusions are expected to serve as a roadmap for future strategies and implementation efforts. National, regional, and international law enforcement and security agencies, three levels of government, local communities, media, civil society, and national and international biodiversity conservation organizations all have a significant role to play in combating organized wildlife crime. A joint effort is the key to success.