Participants discussed how the illegal trade of wildlife is threatening Pakistan’s unique biodiversity and its habitats at the concluding session of a training workshop on ‘Controlling Illegal Wildlife Trade” here at the Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH). Pakistan Wetlands Programme, WWF and PMNH arranged this training opportunity for the customs department and other wildlife law enforcement agencies involved in controlling illegal wildlife trade.
Some important recommendations by the participants included publishing an identification guidebook of wildlife and important laws, acts and that obligations to control the illegal trade be included as components of the customs training manual and other enforcement agencies.
The need to build the capacity of enforcement agencies for effective control on illegal trade, creating linkages and effective coordination between wildlife experts and customs to solve illegal issues was also highlighted.
Experts suggested that wildlife counters should be established at all ports, along with warning notices in collaboration with Pakistan Customs.
Also, national level awareness raising campaigns should be organised, and an office should be opened in Pakistan to coordinate with international organisations in order to control wildlife crimes.
Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) Chairman Prof Dr Manzoor H Soomro inaugurated the workshop as Chief Guest, while PMNH DG Dr Azhar Hasan awarded certificates to the participants at the closing ceremony, where CTA Richard Garstang, Forests DIG Dr Shahzad Jahangir and prominent experts were present.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2011.