A group of 99 senior as well as junior officials/personnel of country’s elite border guarding forces, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) have been enlightened on the national as well as international ramifications of the burgeoning wildlife crimes in a training workshop in the Recruit Training Centre of SSB at Salonibari, Tezpur in Assam on Tuesday.
The sensitisation workshop on “Preventing Wildlife Crime and Illegal Wildlife Trade” was conducted jointly by wildlife crime experts and resource persons from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and premier biodiversity conservation organisation Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org) on being invited by the SSB.
SSB officials/jawans including new recruits participating in the workshop were given insight to overall scenario of wildlife crimes and the role of border guarding forces like the SSB in combating it. The training programme was inaugurated by Deputy Commandant of the Recruit Training Centre, Vishnu Praveen who thanked all resource persons for their time and interest in sensitising the SSB personnel on wildlife crimes that pose serious threat to conservation of precious wildlife resources on the country.
Jawaharlal Baro, Assistant Director, WCCB spoke on length about various provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 of India which was amended in 2022 and also on various wildlife species and products being trafficked in North East India.
The WCCB official also conducted the practical session on identifying wildlife products seized frequently in the region for the benefits of the participating SSB officers.
Aaranyak officials – Dr. Jimmy Borah, senior manager and Ms. Ivy Farheen Hussain, Project officer and wildlife crime analyst, discussed various dimensions of wildlife crimes from a national, regional, and international perspective during their deliberations in the training workshop.
They discussed the wildlife crime scenarios with special focus on the region of Indo-Bhutan landscape. The experts discussed the various ways in which smugglers sneak out/in illegal wildlife products and the methods that can be used to mitigate and prevent this burgeoning crime that has direct link with the smuggling of drugs and arms. Additionally, personnel were also engaged in a discussion and a Q&A session.
“The training programme was very interactive with participants from the SSB enthusiastically raising queries about various aspect of wildlife crime, which was properly answered by the experts,” informed Aaranyak official Dr Jimmy Borah.
As part of its sustained efforts to create synergy among various stakeholders and enforcement agencies for combating wildlife crimes in the region, Aaranyak has been facilitating such training workshops and interactions on wildlife crimes with various Central Armed Polce Forces (CAPF) including the SSB, BSF, CISF across the Northeastern region of the country.
This year Aaranyak has facilitated sixth such training/sensitisation workshops with the SSB personnel in the region so far. These sensitisation workshops are supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.