Kuwait holds successful prevention of wildlife trafficking training
Since Kuwait's joining of CITES in 2001, authorities have been making every effort to combat wildlife trafficking. In the last few years, a number of seizures and confiscations took place of CITES specimens in Kuwait such as cheetahs, Syrian brown bear, African grey parrots, green iguanas, baboons, pythons, crocodiles, and red-eared slider tortoises.
Recently, IFAW office in UAE joined Kuwaiti authorities to organize a four-day training workshop on prevention of wildlife trafficking for officials concerned with wildlife trade. The training was conducted in collaboration with the Environment Public Authority (EPA), Kuwaiti General Administration of Customs, and Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA).
The training, which took place in Kuwait on the 25-28 November 2013, brought together 35 participants from Kuwaiti CITES management and scientific authorities, customs, police, and agriculture quarantine sectors.
Eng. Sameera Alkandari, Director of Planning Assessment of Environmental Impact at EPA, said: there is a need to build national capacities in the field of monitoring wildlife trade in accordance with the CITES regulations which entered into force in Kuwait since 2001.
Kuwait is known as a major center of trade and commerce due its strategic location in the Middle East region. In the 9th century, Kuwait became an important trading point, and this drew the attention of traffickers to use Kuwait as a route to smuggle wildlife products and animals.
The workshop training would enhance the abilities of officials that will allow them to identify and stop illegal wildlife trade and protect animals from commercial exploitation.
The training introduced CITES appendixes, structure, how it works and its regulation and implementations. Participants also learned how to identify CITES species listed which commonly traded within the region.
IFAW conducted practical training for officials on how to detect fraud, forgery and counterfeiting of CITES permits through examination, authentication and verification. Officers trained on how to detect smuggling and the techniques smugglers use to move contraband wildlife animals and products made from them.
The prevention of wildlife trafficking training builds and enhances the capacity of wildlife law enforcement officials and strengthening their skills and competencies that will allow them to support the implementation of regulation CITES in their region.
Without question, a greater understanding of CITES and the ability to implement it effectively would provide a greater protection for wildlife and conservation around the world.