The fourth meeting of South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN), an inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement agency was in Kolkata, West Bengal (India) from May 8-10, 2018. It was first meeting of SAWEN to be held in India since its inception in 2011.
Key Outcomes of meeting
The two-day conference was attended by representatives of seven (excluding Pakistan) out of eight member countries. Six proposals, including tracking of wildlife smuggling route, review of existing laws and structure for the organisation were tabled during the meeting. Participating countries also adopted many resolutions to curb wildlife crime in the region. They agreed on having operational framework for strengthening the regional body to combat wildlife crime.
South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN)
SAWEN is regional inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement support body of South Asian Countries. It was launched in January, 2011 in Paro, Bhutan during the second meeting of the South Asia Expert Group on Illegal Wildlife Trade. Its secretariat is in Kathmandu, Nepal. Its regional network comprises of eight South Asia countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Mandate: SAWEN aims at working collectively as a strong regional inter-governmental body to combat wildlife crime by attainting common mutual goals and approaches for combating illegal trade in the region. It also seeks to control trans-boundary wildlife crime through communication, coordination, collaboration, capacity building and cooperation in the region.
South Asia region is very vulnerable to illegal traffic and wildlife crimes due to presence of precious biodiversity and large markets as well as traffic routes for wildlife products in the region. It is mainly due to presence of large markets as well as traffic routes for wildlife products in the region. There was need among South Asian countries for collaboration in harmonising as well as enforcing wildlife protection in region for effective conservation of biodiversity. Establishment of SAWEN provided these eight South Asian Countries common platform for harmonising as well as enforcing wildlife protection in region