An orientation program on pangolin conservation to law enforcement agencies
A training of trainers' orientation program was organized for 2 days at Chautara, Sindhupalchok. A total of 35 participants from Law Enforcement Agencies, different relevant Government Agencies, and members of CBAPU took part in the two days training session.
The resource persons for the program were Mr. Dipendra Adhikari-wildlife biologist and have been working in the field of conservation for more than 5 years, Hem Chandra Mahato, hold the position of Assistant Forest Office at Sindhupalchok, Madhav Prasad Kafle, the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Sindhupalchok and Dinesh Bhattarai, A. Attorney at District Court, Sindhupalchok.
The training session was inaugurated by the Chief District Officer Mrs. Goma Devi Chemjung (Sindhupalchok) who also chaired the opening ceremony. Senior government employees from administrative, judiciary and law enforcement agencies were present during the opening ceremony of the programs.
The training was divided into five sessions with three sessions being covered on the first day and the two sessions being covered on the second day. The first session included introduction to pangolin and its conservation needs, its national and international distribution, its ecology and behavior, threats and importance. The second session covered the prosecution status of pangolin and challenges in prosecution of wildlife crime. This session included an introductory session, crime investigation and listing, constitutional and legal provisions in criminalization of illegal wildlife trade, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, obstacles related to the investigation and prosecution of illegal trade of pangolin and its solutions.
The third session covered the topic of threats/challenges of identification, status and seizure cases of pangolin in Nepal. This topic included the scale of work being done in Nepal for pangolin conservation, legal provisions in pangolin conservation, national legislations directly related to PAs and wildlife conservation in Nepal, International convention and treaties, role of various stakeholders in the implementation of CITES, and organizations actively working for the conservation of the species. The fourth session covered the ongoing activities on pangolin conservation in Sindhupalchok district. In this session, the role of division forest officer on wildlife conservation was also discussed.
The fifth session covered the topic of Role of Judiciary in the Conservation of Natural Resources especially wildlife protection and controlling illegal trade. This topic covered the role of the court in wildlife crime prosecution, the method of investigation and prosecution, and the norms to be followed in collecting crime based evidence for effective prosecution.
The participants from various government organizations reiterated their commitment to conserve not only pangolin but other wildlife as well. The participants praised the orientation program and its content. They also added that this orientation program filled in the gaps that would normally be ambiguous during the process of investigation and prosecution. The judges and police officers from the respective districts also pledged their commitment in zero tolerance for wildlife related crimes to demotivate potential poachers/traders/smugglers from committing acts against not only pangolin but other wildlife as well.