ISLAMABAD: The World Wide Fund (WWF) Pakistan has organised a consultative workshop
aiming to seek recommendations from relevant stakeholders on the draft National Plan of Action
(NPOA), developed to combat illegal wildlife trade in Pakistan.
The workshop was part of the consultative and training series conducted under the project
Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade by establishing a National Monitoring Network that Benefits
Local Communities and Environment, supported by the USAID through its Small Grants and
Ambassador Fund Program, to formulate a strategy applicable on the national level against
illegal wildlife trade and capacity building of law enforcement agencies to curb wildlife crimes
Experts present in the workshop that was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate
Change shed light on various aspects of illegal wildlife trade, its scale and the various forms in
which this trade takes place.
The training also familiarised participants about species that are in high trade demand, modes in
which they are traded and identification of the species. Experts also shared international
regulations as well as national and provincial laws governing wildlife trade such as Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Pakistan
Wild Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora Act, 2012 with the participants.
“Illegal wildlife trade has been recognised as the second biggest threat to wildlife after habitat
loss and is estimated to generate USD 23 billion annually,” said Syed Mahmood Nasir, Inspector
General of Forests, Ministry of Climate Change.
In the welcome address, he further mentioned that wildlife trafficking also undermines state
authority, impacting national and global security and socioeconomic development. Therefore,
governments across the world are making an effort to tackle this menace.
“This National Plan of Action, once finalised, will serve as a strategy for Pakistan to address the
key challenges in curbing wildlife crimes and facilitate all relevant stakeholders by integrating
collective efforts to crack down on wildlife traffickers.”
Assistant Secretary Wildlife Samar Hussain Khan discussed the various aspects of illegal
wildlife trade in Pakistan, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulations and the Pakistan Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora
WWF-Pakistan DG Hammad Naqi Khan, in the concluding remarks, emphasised that the NPOA
is an excellent opportunity to further strengthen the knowledge and skills of law enforcement
agencies and to develop partnerships amongst them to effectively curb wildlife crimes.
He also acknowledged that WWF-Pakistan, with the financial support of USAID through its
Small Grants and Ambassador Fund Program, has set the ball rolling in the right direction for
relevant law enforcement agencies to double their efforts in future against wildlife crimes.
WWF-Pakistan, along with developing the NPOA has also helped in the capacity building of
more than 200 law enforcement personals covering key aspects of illegal wildlife trade.
Additionally, as a result of the continuous efforts of the organisation, wildlife information desks
are being setup in collaboration with Civil Aviation Authority and provincial wildlife
departments to increase vigilance at important exit points of the country.