Enforcement and intelligence agencies from eight South Asian countries will meet in New Delhi from July 1 to 5 to form an operational strategy to curb rising illegal wildlife trade in South Asia.
The eight countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
The meeting is hosted by INTERPOL's Environmental Crime Programme and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with technical support from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.
The meeting aims to mobilise co-ordinated action against wildlife crime by the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN), TRAFFIC said in a statement.
It will identify regional priorities in wildlife law enforcement, implement a common approach for regional operations, and bridge communication gaps between agencies at national and regional levels.
It will also focus on capacity development of tools for the support of investigative operations, intelligence-led best practices such as controlled deliveries, questioning wildlife smugglers, and professionalism in building wildlife cases.
Officials representing one or more enforcement agencies, including the police, wildlife departments, INTERPOL National Central Bureaus, environmental and Customs agencies are expected to attend the meeting along with delegates from China and Russia.
Illegal wildlife trade is the fifth largest illegal global trade after narcotics, counterfeiting, human trafficking and oil trafficking.