Strict laws must for wildlife protection, conservation

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 28 (APP): Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Climate Change Syed Rizwan Mahboob has said the present government had finalized its conservation efforts to make wildlife-related laws stricter, harsher and more punitive to help regulate wildlife trade and control its illegal trafficking.
Addressing a national consultative workshop on “Draft Amendment Rules to the Pakistan Wildlife Trade Control Act of Fauna and Flora 2012” here, he said, “the present government is fully convinced that regulating wildlife trade and halting trade of the endangered wildlife species was indispensable for halting widening imbalances in the country’s biological diversity and preserving nature.”
Syed Rizwan Mahboob said further that after marathon consultative process with all government and non-government stakeholders, amendments had been incorporated to the Rules of the Pakistan Wildlife Trade Control Act of Fauna and Flora 2012.
The draft amended Act would be soon sent to the federal law ministry for approval.
He pressed on need for the multiagency coordination to curb wildlife-related crimes and suggested to take all relevant agencies on board for leading the efforts against transnational organized crimes.
The PMs focal person on climate change lauded the International Union for Conservation of Nature – Pakistan (IUCN – Pakistan) for joining government’s efforts for initiating the intensive consultation process for amendments and upgradation of the Pakistan Wildlife Trade Control Act of Fauna and Flora 2012 over last several months.
“Taking a big number of stakeholders for obtaining suggestions for amendments to the Wildlife Trade Control Act 2012 and incorporating them into the Act 2012 would have not been that easy without the technical support of the IUCN-Pakistan and in this regard it merits appreciation,” he commented.
Climate Change Ministry’s Inspector-General Forest Syed Mahmood Nasir emphasized that successful implementation of the amended wildlife protection law would hinge on cooperation and collaboration of provincial wildlife departments, customs department, other relevant law enforcing agencies and stakeholders.
Country Head of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Mahmood Akhtar Cheema told the participants that his organization will be in touch with the climate change ministry to improve the Wildlife Trade Act 2012 so that it met needs and challenges of the present day.
Climate Change Ministry’s Deputy Director, Mohammad Saleem, told media that since 1976 Pakistan is signatory to the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), which is an international agreement between governments.
“Having signed and ratified the CITIES pact, along with 181 signatory countries Pakistan agreed to join global efforts for protection and conservation of the wildlife and ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. However, the Wildlife Trade Control Act 2012 was framed in reaction to the country’s ratification of the International CITIES law,” he elaborated.
The deputy director told media further that after successfully sailing through the federal law ministry, the amended federal Wildlife Trade Control Act could prove to be an effective tool to control inter-provincial and cross-border trade of the wildlife species, particularly those listed as endangered species.