The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of India, Southern Region conducted the 15th Inter Agency Coordination Meeting to discuss Wildlife Crime and Illegal Trafficking related issues on 8th December, 2021 at Aranya Bhavan, Hyderabad.
The Meeting was attended by the Smt. Tilotama Verma, IPS. Addl. Director, WCCB, New Delhi and officials of Customs, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Police, Railways, Post and Telegraphs, CCMB, CDTS, ZSI, BSI, NTCA, Telangana Forest Department and WCCB. Smt. R. Sobha, IFS.,Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF) & Chief Wildlife Warden was the Chief Guest.
The PCCF, Telangana in the inaugural address stated that, Telangana is in the forefront in combating wildlife crime and illegal trade. The Forest Department is closely coordinating with WCCB and other related Departments like Police, Customs etc. in detection and booking of wildlife crime cases. The PCCF stated that the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products internationally is estimated at over $20 billion annually and coordination between different Departments and agencies is vital in controlling illegal trade in wildlife and in wildlife produce. The PCCF informed that, Telangana had set up Forest and Wildlife Crime Control Cell with Toll Free No. 18004255364 and an Anti-Poaching Squad at Aranya Bhavan way back in 2012 and the centre is working round the clock receiving information on Forest and Wildlife crime and passing on the information to field officers for immediate action.
The Smt. Tilotama Verma, IPS. Addl. Director, WCCB, gave a presentation on the activities WCCB in the field of controlling wildlife crime. She stated that the WCCB has five Regional Offices at New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jabalpur and Chennai. It also has nine sub-centres in different parts of the country. The WCCB coordinates between different wildlife crime enforcement agencies in the country and also between different State Forest Departments. It also regulates international trade in wildlife and wildlife products under CITES. Due to the efforts of WCCB large number of wildlife crime related cases involving major wildlife species like Tiger and Leopard Skins, Elephant ivory, Rhino horned, Pangolin scales, live Tortoises, Corals etc. were booked in various parts of the Country.
The officials representing Customs, DRI, Railways, P&T requested the WCCB to conduct training program for their field officials in detection, identification of wildlife articles and booking of cases. The CDTS, CCMB, CFSL, offered to coordinate with the WCCB and State Forest Department in identification of species whenever wildlife articles and body parts are recovered.
The Regional Dy. Director, WCCB, Chennai while concluding the meeting thanked the PCCF(HoFF), Telangana and all the officers and representatives of various Government Departments and Agencies for attending the meeting and for giving valuable inputs.