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SOS Rhino : In the News : Chitwan National Park, RNA win recognition for conservation

Chitwan National Park, RNA win recognition for conservation

  The Rising Nepal

By Our Correspondent
KATHMANDU, Mar. 24: The Secretary General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) awarded Certificate of Commendation for 2005 to the Royal Chitwan National Park Authority (RCNPA) and to the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) in recognition of their exemplary efforts to combat poaching and illegal trade in endangered species, particularly leopards, the rhinoceros and the tigers.

The CITES has duly recognised that, during 2004 and 2005, the officers from both the RCNPA and the RNA arrested over 30 persons for wildlife crimes many of whom were subsequently sentenced to prison. The CITES said they also seized rhinoceros horns, tiger skin and tiger and leopard bones, and confiscated illegal earnings as well as vehicles, weapons and ammunition, stated a press statement issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Friday.

The certificate was presented during a ceremony at the office of the CITES Secretariat in Geneva. The Royal Nepalese Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Nepal to the United Nations and Other International Organisations at Geneva Gyan Chandra Acharya accepted the Certificate of Commendation on 23 March on behalf of the recipients.

Accepting the certificate, Acharya expressed sincere gratitude of His Majesty's Government of Nepal to the CITES parties and the Secretariat for the recognition of the dedicated work of the RCNPA and the RNA to combat poaching and illegal trade in endangered species even in difficult circumstances, as per the country's commitment to international conventions.

He further said that such commendation would encourage the authorities involved to work with further dedication to the cause of the protection of the endangered species and preservation of bio-diversity in the days ahead.

Speaking after the presentation of the certificate of commendation, Secretary General of CITES Willem Wijnstekers said, "The poaching of animals such as tigers and rhinoceroses has brought some populations of these species to the brink of extinction. Many criminals do not hesitate to act violently towards law enforcement personnel, which makes the dangerous work performed by Park staff and the Army in Nepal all the more impressive."

Wijnstekers also commended the Nepalese authorities for their strong commitment to protecting their country's bio-diversity during a period when law enforcement agencies face many other demands upon their time and resources.

The CITES Secretary General began awarding certificates of commendation in 2002 to recognise exemplary enforcement actions by individuals or organisations that have contributed to the enforcement of the Convention. This is the fourth commendation certificate provided by CITES since then.

The earlier recipients included Customs Authorities of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of Peoples Republic of China, an Interpol official involved in anti-smuggling, and the US Forest and Wild Life Services.

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