Why in News?
- The first ever meeting of SAWEN – the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network – was held in India from May 8-10.
What is SAWEN?
- It is an inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement agency.
- It was launched in 2011 in Bhutan.
- The statute of SAWEN was adopted by Indian government in 2016.
- SAWEN combats illegal wildlife trade by promoting regional cooperation.
- Its objective is to strengthen wildlife law enforcement to combat wildlife crime through communication, coordination, collaboration, capacity building and cooperation among member countries.
- Members of the agency
- India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- Member countries agreed upon strengthening the body to combat wildlife crime by having an operational framework.
- India is the source country of smuggling of wildlife in the region.
- They are smuggled to South East Asia and China.
- Most smuggled wildlife items in the region are leopard bones and skin, rhino horns, pangolin scales and birds.