All the components of country’s Judiciary including lawyers have a key role to play in ensuring higher conviction rate in wildlife crime cases and thereby contribute towards prevention of such crimes as well as complement conservation efforts.
Stating this international reputed rhino conservation expert and an acclaimed wildlife biologist, Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar told a large group of law students in NERIM Law College here that Northeast India being a biodiversity hotspot stands vulnerable to wildlife crimes and the students of law must strive to have a grasp over the Wildlife Protection (Amendment ) Act 2022 that is in vogue in the greater interest of biodiversity conservation given that wildlife crimes have assumed an alarming proportion globally transcending geographical frontiers.
Addressing a workshop on ‘Wildlife Crime and Preventive Law’ organized by NERIM Law College on Saturday, the secretary general and the CEO of Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org), Dr Talukdar sensitized the law students how the global scenario of wildlife crimes poses threat to nations across the globe. He stated that there were documented evidences of rhino horns being exchanged across the borders for arms.
He said illegal wildlife trade is an organized trade in global scale and trained criminals are involved in it. “Students of law who are going to become professionals dealing with law at different capacities and at various levels, would to a great service to prevention of wildlife crimes and thereby conserve biodiversity if they keep themselves abreast of the national and international laws dealing with wildlife crimes including illegal wildlife trade so that they could deal with such cases efficiently.”
Making a presentation in the workshop Kakoli Baishya, Research Assistant in Aaranyak explained how the prized K9 (sniffer dog) Squad of Aaranyak has been assisting law enforcement agencies in preventing and investigating wildlife crimes. She explained the vision behind and genesis of K9 squad in Aaranyak meant for tackling wildlife crimes.
Advocate Ajoy Kumar Das, a legal consultant in Aaranyak, made a detailed presentation on provisions of Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act 2022 for the law students participating in the workshop and also explained functioning and agenda of CITES in checking wildlife crimes. He explained rights granted under Forest Rights Act and defined various categories of forests like National Park, wildlife sanctuary, reserve forests in the light of rights granted under the Act.
The Registrar of NERIM Group of Institution, Debaprashad Mishra and Principal, of NERIM Law College Dr Md. Sultan Haider Alam applauded the resource team from Aaranyak for conducting the enlightening workshop which was well attended by faculty members besides law students.