ISLAMABAD: The World Wide Fund (WWF) Pakistan has organised a consultative workshop

aiming to seek recommendations from relevant stakeholders on the draft National Plan of Action

(NPOA), developed to combat illegal wildlife trade in Pakistan.

The workshop was part of the consultative and training series conducted under the project

Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade by establishing a National Monitoring Network that Benefits

Local Communities and Environment, supported by the USAID through its Small Grants and

Ambassador Fund Program, to formulate a strategy applicable on the national level against

illegal wildlife trade and capacity building of law enforcement agencies to curb wildlife crimes

in Pakistan.

Experts present in the workshop that was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate

Change shed light on various aspects of illegal wildlife trade, its scale and the various forms in

which this trade takes place.

The training also familiarised participants about species that are in high trade demand, modes in

which they are traded and identification of the species. Experts also shared international

regulations as well as national and provincial laws governing wildlife trade such as Convention

on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Pakistan

Wild Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora Act, 2012 with the participants.

“Illegal wildlife trade has been recognised as the second biggest threat to wildlife after habitat

loss and is estimated to generate USD 23 billion annually,” said Syed Mahmood Nasir, Inspector

General of Forests, Ministry of Climate Change.

In the welcome address, he further mentioned that wildlife trafficking also undermines state

authority, impacting national and global security and socioeconomic development. Therefore,

governments across the world are making an effort to tackle this menace.

“This National Plan of Action, once finalised, will serve as a strategy for Pakistan to address the

key challenges in curbing wildlife crimes and facilitate all relevant stakeholders by integrating

collective efforts to crack down on wildlife traffickers.”

Assistant Secretary Wildlife Samar Hussain Khan discussed the various aspects of illegal

wildlife trade in Pakistan, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild

Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulations and the Pakistan Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora

Act 2012.

WWF-Pakistan DG Hammad Naqi Khan, in the concluding remarks, emphasised that the NPOA

is an excellent opportunity to further strengthen the knowledge and skills of law enforcement

agencies and to develop partnerships amongst them to effectively curb wildlife crimes.

He also acknowledged that WWF-Pakistan, with the financial support of USAID through its

Small Grants and Ambassador Fund Program, has set the ball rolling in the right direction for

relevant law enforcement agencies to double their efforts in future against wildlife crimes.

WWF-Pakistan, along with developing the NPOA has also helped in the capacity building of

more than 200 law enforcement personals covering key aspects of illegal wildlife trade.

Additionally, as a result of the continuous efforts of the organisation, wildlife information desks

are being setup in collaboration with Civil Aviation Authority and provincial wildlife

departments to increase vigilance at important exit points of the country.

By Web Team

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