IMPHAL, September 26th
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Manipur and Patron-in-Chief of the Manipur State Legal Services Authority (MASLSA), Judge PV Sanjay Kumar, today stressed the ever-increasing number of wildlife crimes, particularly wildlife trafficking, in India and sustained cooperation on a global scale between all stakeholders, including various government agencies and forces at state and central level.
Speaking at a workshop on ‘Prevention of Wildlife Crime – Challenges, Solutions and the Role of Stakeholders’ in the auditorium of the High Court of Manipur today, the Chief Justice noted that wildlife crime has become the fourth-biggest global crime.
A press release from MASLSA said the workshop was organized by MASLSA in collaboration with research-based biodiversity conservation organization Aaranyak.
He went on to explain that dealing with wildlife crimes would also require investigating their connection to drug terrorism and arms smuggling.
He also stressed the need to hold training and awareness workshops for forest, police, judiciary and other government agencies to effectively tackle wildlife crimes through joint efforts in India.
Judge MV Muralidaran, Manipur High Court Judge and Executive Chairman of MASLSA, called for serious self-examination by all concerned authorities given the poor reporting of wildlife crime in Manipur and the delay in sentencing.
He said that as a global citizen, it is every citizen’s duty to work to protect wildlife, which is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He further warned that India has become a source, destination and important trade route for the illegal wildlife trade.
Speaking to the gathering, Longjam Joykumar, Chief Conservator of Forest, Manipur, stressed the need for massive awareness raising among all stakeholders and strict enforcement of the WL (Protection) Act to prevent wildlife crime.
P. Doungel, Director General of Manipur Police Department, said in his address that it is human greed that has led to the increase in wildlife crimes in Manipur due to its proximity to the international border.
He stressed the importance of joint efforts among different agencies including Police, Forest Service, Assam Rifles, Customs, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, etc. to protect wildlife and prevent wildlife crimes.
The workshop was also attended by judicial officials, police and forestry officials, customs and DRI officials, Assam Rifles officials, WCCB and NGO members.