Kathmandu, Nepal – The governments of Nepal and China agreed to step up collaborative efforts and enforce a crackdown on illegal wildlife trade at the border region of the two countries in a fresh series of measures to enhance trans-boundary cooperation in biodiversity conservation.
Government delegates from Nepal and China, led by Mr. Tika Ram Adhikary, Deputy Director General of Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, and Mr. Wan Ziming, Director of CITES Management Authority, State Forestry Administration of China, met in the capital city of Nepal for a three-day workshop on 28-30 August to identify the issues on illegal wildlife trade at the border region of both the countries and to set a road map to curb wildlife crimes.
“Nepal is a transit point being used by wildlife crime networks for the illegal export and import of wildlife parts and their derivatives,” stated Mr. Megh Bahadur Pandey, Director General of the Government of Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. “By working together, Nepal and China will take concerted measures to help put a complete stop to illegal wildlife trade primarily at the border regions of the two countries.”
At the workshop, Nepal and China agreed on designating focal points at the national and local levels, especially at theborder check points in Jilong, Zhangmu and Pulan in TAR, China and Tatopani, Rasuwagadi and Darchula in Nepal, to share real-time information on significant seizures. It was agreed that mutual assistance would be provided to investigate trans-boundary wildlife crimes and prosecute perpetrators through official channels such as Interpol National Centre Bureaus. The two countries also decided to increase surveillance on illegal wildlife trade routes and trade hotspots through smart patrolling, wildlife monitoring and research and intelligence networks, while also establishing anti-poaching units and their networks at the local level.
“This workshop has been important in terms of the participation of the local frontline officers who have a significant role to play in curbing wildlife crimes,” stated Mr. Wan Ziming, Director of CITES Management Authority, State Forestry Administration of China. “The recommendations made in this workshop are important pathways for Nepal and China to control illegal trade in our border regions.”
Nepal and China had signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2010 to promote trans-boundary cooperation to address the issues related to biodiversity conservation and protection of wildlife. Over the years, the two countries have strengthened ties and have regularly hosted trans-boundary meetings at the central and field level and implemented CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) with a common understanding between the two countries.
“WWF Nepal is committed to working with the government to help control illegal wildlife trade, the primary threat that is emptying Nepal’s forests of its mega species such as tigers and rhinos,” stated Mr. Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal. “Given the nature of this threat, it is important that governments, more so than ever, work beyond borders to help stop wildlife crimes.”