Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)–India, in collaboration with West Bengal Forest Department, organized a two-day workshop to combat wildlife trafficking. The workshop was held on December 17 and December 18 at the Surulia Mini Zoo, Kangsabati North Division, Purulia.
The workshop began with a session by Sahila Kudalkar, project manager, Counter Wildlife Trafficking (CWT), WCS–India, on the introduction of wildlife trafficking and the scale of this issue, nationally and internationally.
Lawyer Samir Majumder introduced the participants to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and spoke about the power that the officers have to act against wildlife crime.
The workshop also included a session on the identification of commonly trafficked wildlife, their parts, products, modus operandi and ways to distinguish between real and fake products. The participants were briefed on search and seizure protocols, methods to collect evidences, types of evidences and detention process. An activity on preparing a seizure list was held to give the participants hands-on experience in preparing search and arrest memo.
Sahila addressing the participants © Anirban Chaudhuri
“I am pleased with the result of the workshop. The participants were very enthusiastic during the sessions and I hope they acquired the skills needed to take a case to trial and eventually to conviction,” said Sahila.
The final day of the workshop started with a review of search and seizure protocol including arrests. A crime scene was simulated, and participants were asked to fill out a wildlife offense report based on the crime scene. A mock trial court was conducted and attendees were taken through the session on court proceedings.
"The workshop was extremely informative and helpful. Crime scene simulation and mock court proceedings were very insightful," said Madhurmilan Ghosh, Assistant Divisional Forest Officer, Kangsabati South Division, Purulia, West Bengal.
WCS-India’s CWT team conducts various capacity building wildlife trafficking workshops across multiple states in the country.