By SANGEETA NAIR
The United Nations Environment has awarded India’s Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) with the Asia Environment Enforcement Award, 2018 for the excellent work done by the Bureau in combating transboundary environmental crime.
The Asia Environmental Enforcement Award recognises the excellent work done by government officials and teams from the bureau who are diligently involved in combating transboundary environmental crime.
• The Asia Environment Enforcement Awards publicly recognise and celebrate excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions and teams combating transboundary environmental crime in Asia.
• The awards are given to outstanding individuals or government organisations and teams that demonstrate excellence and leadership in enforcement of national laws to combat transboundary environmental crime in one of the following eligibility criteria areas: collaboration, impact, innovation, integrity and gender leadership.
• India’s Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been conferred the award in the Innovation category.
• The bureau has adopted innovative enforcement techniques that have dramatically increased enforcement of transboundary environmental crimes in India.
• It has developed an online Wildlife Crime Database Management System to get real-time data in order to help analyse trends in crime and devise effective measures to prevent and detect wildlife crimes across India.
The WCCB’s wildlife crime database management system has been successfully used to analyse trends, help put in preventive measures as well as for successfully carrying out operations such as Operation Save Kurma, Thunderbird, Wildnet, Lesknow, Birbil, Thunderstorm, Lesknow-II along with other enforcement agencies.
The result of the same is the arrest of 350 wildlife criminals and huge seizures of tiger and leopard’s skin and bones and other trophies including rhino horn, elephant ivory, turtles, tortoises, mongoose raw hairs as well as mongoose hair brushes, protected birds, marine products, live Pangolin as well as its scales and deer antlers across all the states.
In order to involve the public in the fight against wildlife crime, WCCB has also developed a scheme to enrol willing persons as WCCB Volunteers.
The award was decided upon by a selection panel set up by the UN Environment and this is the second time in a row the awards are being given by UN Environment to India.
• The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Environment and Forests in June 2007, to combat organised wildlife crime in the country.
• The Bureau has its headquarters in New Delhi and five regional offices at Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Jabalpur.
• Under Section 38 (Z) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, the WCCB is mandated to collect and collate intelligence related to organised wildlife crime activities and to disseminate the same to state and other enforcement agencies for immediate action so as to apprehend the criminals.
• The bureau is also mandated to establish a centralised wildlife crime data bank, assist foreign authorities and international organisations concerned to facilitate co-ordination and universal action for wildlife crime control and help in the capacity building of the wildlife crime enforcement agencies for scientific and professional investigation into wildlife crimes and assist State Governments to ensure success in prosecutions related to wildlife crimes.
• The bureau can also advise the Government of India on issues relating to wildlife crimes having national and international ramifications, relevant policy and laws.
• It also assists and advises the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora and fauna as per the provisions of Wild Life Protection Act, CITES and EXIM Policy governing such an item.
Source: Jagran Josh