Sikkim – Major Smuggling Route For Wildlife Articles Through China; Claims WCCC Regional Deputy-Director

Posted in Featured, Northeast, Sikkim


  • Sujal Pradhan, NET Correspondent, Sikkim 

Illegal wildlife trade and pushing endangered species toward extinction, due to their increased economic value has stood to be an immediate concern for wildlife experts and non-profit global leaders. In an attempt to restrain the challenge, a ‘one-day sensitization workshop on illegal wildlife trade and crime for judiciary officials of Sikkim’ was organized today at Sidkeong Tulku Conference Hall, Forest Secretariat, Gangtok.

Organized by the Forest & Environment Department, in collaboration with the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), New Delhi, the awareness event was held under the banner of the GEG-GoI-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Securing Livelihoods, Conservation, Sustainable Use and Restoration of High Range Himalayan Ecosystems (SECURE) Himalaya Project.

It was coordinated by Ms. Dechen Lachungpa, DFO (Wildlife)-East.

Addressing the reporters, the Regional Deputy Director, Wild Life Crime Control(WCCC) Bureau, Eastern Region, Agni Mitra asserted that “Sikkim is one of the major smuggling routes for many of the wildlife articles due to its proximity with China hence workshop on illegal wildlife trade and crime for judiciary officials of Sikkim is necessary”.

“We choose Gangtok for this event as North Bengal and parts of Sikkim are major smuggling route for many of the wildlife articles due to the presence of China’s interference, so Sikkim or Gangtok stood to be important for organizing this workshop.”

The event thoroughly discussed about global, Indian and local wildlife species, role of hunting communities, agencies and Wildlife Crimes and Coordination Cell (WCCC).

It further discussed about the escalation in the conviction of cases.

The workshop was also attended by the senior officials of the forest department.

While addressing the gathering, the IFS Additional Chief Secretary-cum-PCCF of Sikkim M. L. Srivastava emphasized on the need to enhance inter-departmental cooperation to mitigate illegal wildlife crimes in the state, which is vulnerable for wildlife crimes due to its strategic position and porous international borders.

Meanwhile, the technical sessions included presentations by the Joint Director H.V. Girisha; & the Regional Deputy Director of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Agni Mitra on various aspects of illegal wildlife trade including the national and regional scenario, legal provisions and traded species.

The Advocate Samir Majumdar also highlighted the important legal provisions and sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which acts as the primary legal instrument to deal with wildlife crimes.

The participants included the District Judges, Chief Judicial Magistrates (CJMs) and Judicial Magistrates from all four districts of Sikkim, along with Panel Advocates and Paralegal Volunteers from the Sikkim State Legal Services Authority (SSLSA).

The programme concluded with a discussion on ways to enhance detection and inter-agency cooperation for illegal wildlife crimes where the judicial officials agreed to extend all cooperation for mitigation of such crimes.

Concluding the workshop, the CF (WL)-cum-Nodal Officer, SECURE Himalaya Project, Udai Gurung mentioned the significance of SECURE Himalaya project, and involving all stakeholders to enhance the prevention and mitigation of wildlife crime.

He further added that concerned workshop was a first-of-its-kind for the state of Sikkim, which will be followed by further coordination and regular activities.

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