Assam: Forces posted at Indo-Bhutan border sensitised on wildlife crime

Guwahati: Biodiversity conservation organisation Aaranyak on Saturday sensitised over 35 border police personnel posted at the Indo-Bhutan border on wildlife crime and illegal wildlife trade.

The sensitisation programme was held as part of its interactive session with the border team of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

An official update informed that the SSB which guards the country’s border with Bhutan and Tibet is a key border police force in respect of prevention wildlife crimes and illegal trade as the principal consumer territory for wildlife products is located beyond Bhutan and Tibetan Himalayas. 

“Cross-border wildlife crime and surreptitious trade on wildlife parts/products demand constant effective vigil by border guarding police forces in coordination with other stakeholders on the ground including forest, state police forces,” it said.

The session was organised by 64 Bn of SSB,  Barama in Assam close to Indo-Bhutan border.  Aaranyak’s Project Officer and Analyst Ivy Farheen Hussain spoke on how border police like SSB can play an important role in deterring wildlife crime and illegal trade on wildlife. It was part of a two-day course arranged for the SSB border interaction team, who are deployed at the Indo-Bhutan border. 

Aaranyak has been relentlessly  trying to keep border guarding forces including SSB, ITBP, BSF and other CAPF including CISF abreast of the constant grave threat posed to wildlife conservation in the region dur to illegal wildlife trade and wildlife crime besides trying to create synergy amongst forces to beat the rising crime graph.

Since the boundary area of Manas National Park (MNP) landscape is part of the border with Bhutan, the organisation observed that the area increases the importance for efficient surveillance measures by border police force against wildlife smuggling.

For the past few years, SSB has been very active with seizures of  illegal wildlife products in the Manas Landscape and its neighbouring villages, it said.

During the sessions, crucial questions regarding the elephant tusks and rhino horns being trafficked were discussed, including the costs involved in such illegal transactions.

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Hussain apprised the participants about the non-disclosure of such products values as per the Wildlife (Protection) Act (WPA) and also explained the various modus operandi regarding illegal trade in wildlife products.

The SSB appreciated Aaranyak’s novel endeavour against wildlife crime and  requested the organisation to keep up this stakeholder relationship in order to effectively work towards deterring wildlife crimes in the region together.

Also Read | Assam: Endangered hogs return home at Manas National Park

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