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.
The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) that guards the country’s border with Bhutan and Tibet is a key border police force in respect of prevention wildlife crimes and illegal trade given the principal consumer territory for wildlife products is located beyond Bhutan and Tibetan Himalayas.
Biodiversity conservation organisation 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.
As part of the larger endeavour, Aaranyak on Saturday sensitised over 35 border police personnel on the wildlife crime and illegal wildlife trade as part of the interaction session with border team of the SSB.
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 on Indo-Bhutan border.
Since the boundary area of Manas National Park (MNP) landscape is part of the border with Bhutan it 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.
Important questions regarding the elephant tusks and rhino horns being trafficked were discussed, including the costs involved in such illegal transactions.
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 were appreciated Aaranyak’s novel endeavour against wildlife crime and requested to keep up this stakeholder relationship in order to effectively work towards deterring wildlife crimes in the region together.