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CITES awards Certificate
of Commendation to Nepal authorities for their
combat against wildlife poachers and traffickers
23 March 2006 – The Secretary-General of the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora (CITES) has today awarded a Certificate of Commendation
to the Royal Chitwan National Park Authority and to the Royal
Nepalese Army to recognize their exemplary efforts to combat poaching
and illegal trade in endangered species, in particular the leopard,
the rhinoceros and the tiger.
During 2004 and 2005, officers from both the Authority and the
Army arrested over 30 people for wildlife crimes: many of them
were subsequently sentenced to prison. They also seized rhinoceros
horns, tiger skins, and tiger and leopard bones, and confiscated
illegal earnings as well as vehicles, weapons and ammunition.
The Certificate was presented during a ceremony at the offices
of the CITES Secretariat. It was accepted on behalf of the Authority
and the Army by His Excellency The Royal Ambassador and Permanent
Representative of the Kingdom of Nepal to the United Nations and
other international organizations at Geneva. Accepting the certificate
of commendation, Mr Gyan Chandra Acharya, the Royal Nepalese Ambassador,
expressed the 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 Royal Chitwan National Park Authority
and the Royal Nepalese Army to combat poaching and illegal trade
in endangered species even in difficult circumstances, as per
its 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 their biodiversity
in the days ahead. He also assured that he would be pleased to
forward the commendation to the respective authorities in Nepal.
Speaking after the presentation, Secretary-General 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 involved in poaching do not hesitate
to act violently towards law enforcement personnel, which makes
the dangerous work performed by Park staff and by the Army in
Nepal all the more impressive.”
Mr Wijnstekers also commended the Nepalese authorities for their
strong commitment to protecting their country’s biodiversity
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 recognize exemplary enforcement actions by individuals
or organizations that have contributed to the enforcement of the
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