From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : SAWEN, TRAFFIC, Red Panda
Mains level : Not Much
According to a report by the TRAFFIC report, there has been a considerable reduction in the poaching of Red Panda (ailurus fulgens). The report also recommended trans-boundary law enforcement co-operation through the use of multi-government platforms like SAWEN (South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network).
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered
- The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.
- Its wild population is estimated at fewer than 10,000 mature individuals and continues to decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression.
- Despite its name, it is not closely related to the giant panda
- The animal has been hunted for meat and fur, besides illegal capture for the pet trade.
- An estimated 14,500 animals are left in the wild across Nepal, Bhutan, India, China and Myanmar.
- About 5,000-6,000 red pandas are estimated to be present in four Indian states – Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and West Bengal.
- The diminishing habitat is a major threat to the species which is a very selective feeder and survives on selected species of bamboos.
About South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN)
- SAWEN is a Regional network is comprised of eight countries in South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
- It aims at working as a strong regional intergovernmental body for combating wildlife crime by attempting common goals and approaches for combating illegal trade in the region.
- The South Asia region is very vulnerable to illegal traffic and wildlife crimes due to the presence of precious biodiversity and large markets as well as traffic routes for wildlife products in the south East Asian region.
- The collaboration in harmonizing as well as enforcing the wildlife protection in the region is considered very important for effective conservation of such precious biodiversity.
- India adopted the Statute of the SAWEN and became its formal member in 2016.
- The TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, is a leading non-governmental organisation working on wildlife trade in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
- It is a joint program of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the IUCN.
- It aims to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.
- The TRAFFIC is governed by the TRAFFIC Committee, a steering group composed of members of TRAFFIC’s partner organizations, WWF and IUCN.
- TRAFFIC also works in close co-operation with the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).