Bid to clamp down on illegal trade
Monika Singh, Fiji Times
October 9, 2021
See link https://www.fijitimes.com/bid-to-clamp-down-on-illegal-trade/
A partnership forged between the Department of Environment and the Fiji
Revenue and Customs Service will assist the authorities to clamp down the
illegal trafficking of plant and animal species at our borders.
Director for Environment Sandeep Singh made the statement yesterday at the
opening of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of
Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) training for Customs Border Control officers
in Nasese, Suva.
Ms Singh said environmental crime such as wildlife trafficking was fast
becoming a lucrative business worldwide and according to reports from CITES
Secretariat, $US10 billion ($F21b) worth of plants and animal species were
traded globally each year.
“This wildlife trade ranges from live species such as parrots and plants to
wildlife products derived from them example handbags made from crocodile
leather, wooden musical instruments made from mahogany and ornaments such
as turtle shell jewellery.
“With the loss of natural habitat and the ever increasing trade, thousands
of plants and animals are rapidly disappearing from the planet.” Ms Singh
said the need to stop illegal wildlife trade and combat illegal
environmental crime had gained an increasingly prominent place on the
political agenda over the past years.
“Tackling this multi-million dollar illegal industry is not an easy task
for any country; let alone any organisation. We cannot do it alone.
“It calls for collective efforts at all levels.
“Co-ordination and engaging in partnership is essential to cease illegal
trade of wildlife,” Ms Singh said.
She said combating illegal wildlife trade depended not only on action by
border control officers, police or the Government of Fiji but globally
through consolidated efforts and co-operation from the World Customs
Organization, the International Environment Agencies and government, NGOs,
civil society organisations and citizens of the world.
“I look forward to affirmative outcomes from this training with
strengthened partnership and collaboration towards the protection of CITES
listed species and species that are indigenous to Fiji that needs close
border protection from illegal trafficking.”