By Tanden Zangmo
The three-day annual forestry conference held in Samtse from December 19 to 21 resolved to combat wildlife crime and poaching more stringently.
Participants at the conference, constituting of about 180 foresters and conservationists from all parts of the country, felt that there is an urgent need to improve enforcement of forestry and wildlife regulations.
Participants also expressed appreciation towards the commendable tasks being carried out by the Forest Protection and Surveillance Unit (FPSU) of the Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS). The unit, in collaboration with all forest territorial divisions and park management, monitors, apprehends and compounds all cases related to illegal timber and poaching cases in the country.
However, many felt that there is an immediate requirement to improve forestry and wildlife enforcement since it entails various issues.
The conference, as a congregation of all policy makers and enforcers, is considered to serve as the right platform to deliberate and dovetail anti-poaching plans into making it more effective and daunting for the offenders.
“Combating wildlife crime and poaching is a very sensitive issue and must be dealt with very cautiously,” said one of the participants. He added the conference is the right forum to brainstorm and come up with effective tactics that could help in bringing down the cases of wildlife crime.
The conference, after in depth discussions, adopted that the existing capacity of the surveillance unit be strengthened. This will be done through deployment of more qualified and experienced staff in the unit. Participants shared that the shortage of staff is one impediment in curbing and curtailing the crime.
The conference also recognized informant networking or whistleblowers as one critical component of fighting wildlife crime. The participants at the conference felt that more than the forestry officials, it is the secret spy and informant who gain more access to secret plots that are being hatched within the confinement of closed door. More....