Dulapally: WCS-India in collaboration with the Telangana Forest Department conducted a workshop on Combating Wildlife Trafficking. There were around 60 field officers of ranks - FRO (Forest Range Officers), FSO (Forest Section officers) and Dy ROs from across Telangana state who participated in the workshop. The event was held at Telangana State Forest Academy in Dulapally.
(Left to Right) Sahila Kudalkar, Imran Siddiqui, Dr. Kota Tirupataiah, PK Jha, Praveen Bhargav, Mridula Vijairaghavan, Mr. Madhuletty, Ms. Shiva Jyothi along with Forest Department Officers and WCS-India staff
The welcome speech was given by HoFF & CWLW Telangana, Shri P.K. Jha, where he highlighted the importance of field staff in fighting against wildlife crimes. The session was coordinated by Dr. Kota Tirupataiah, APCCF and Director, Telangana State Forest Academy and attended by Shri Madhuletty, Course Director at FSA in addition to others.
Imran Siddiqui, Assistant Director for Conservation Science with WCS-India spoke about conditions under which hunting occurs, and the different types of trade happening in Telangana, highlighting how snares are 'silent killers'!
Sahila Kudalkar, leader of Combating Illegal Wildlife Trafficking program at WCS-India, introduced the course objectives and laid out the agenda for the two days (20-21 December, 2018).
Praveen Bhargav, Managing trustee of Wildlife First, introduced officers to the critical powers, procedures, prohibitions and penalties under the WLPA and relevant provisions under the CrPC.
Mr. Praveen Bhargav explaining provisions of the WLPA that can be used to combating wildlife crimes
Pooja Pawar, team member of Combating Wildlife Trafficking program introduced the participants to various wildlife species that are commonly trafficked in and around India. She also explained how to differentiate between wildlife species, and to identify between real and fake wildlife products.
Mridula Vijairaghavan, Legal Advisor at WCS-India, discussed with participants the nitty-gritty aspects of legal procedures governing reporting of a wildlife crime case. Participants were made to carry out a simulation exercise on how to approach a wildlife crime scene (in an indoor/outdoor setup). Some participants were simultaneously tasked with drafting documents mandatory for filing of a wildlife crime case. A review of the simulation exercises and the drafting exercises was then carried out by Mridula.
Concluding the workshop, IT & Publicity PCCF Telangana, Shri P. Raghuveer, IFS, addressed the participants, motivating them towards securing protected areas and controlling wildlife criminal activities. Participants of the workshop were then felicitated by Dr. S. K. Khanduri, Former PCCF Kerala, Shri P. Raghuveer, and Dr. Kota Tirupataiah, for their continued on-ground efforts towards combat wildlife trafficking.