For use of the media only;
not an official document.
Russian tiger goes to India courtesy
to enlarge the photo
Geneva/New Delhi, 4 July 2002 - As a way of thanking the Sardar
Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy of India for its recent
cooperation in organizing an international training course for enforcement
officials charged with protecting the wild tiger, the Secretary-General
of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of
Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is sending a portrait of a Siberian
tiger to the Academy's Director.
"The sale of this painting by the well-known Canadian wildlife
artist Robert Bateman raised almost half of the funds needed for
last month's vital training session on protecting the 5-7,000 tigers
still living in the wild in Asia," said CITES Secretary-General
Willem Wijnstekers. "The tiger's beauty and dignity come through
powerfully in this portrait, and we see the painting's ability to
help finance tiger protection, as well as its delivery to India,
as a symbol of what police and enforcement agents throughout India
and Asia are fighting for."
At the latest meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES,
held in Kenya in 2000, Governments agreed to form a CITES Tiger
Enforcement Task Force that brings together experts to help combat
poaching and illegal trade in tigers. The Task Force identified
training of law enforcement officials as a priority, since many
of the officers in Asia who are tasked with protecting tigers and
other species lack the specialized skills required to combat the
organized criminal networks that engage in illegal wildlife harvesting
guidance provided by the Tiger Enforcement Task Force, the CITES
Secretariat prepared the programme for a two-week training event
for enforcement personnel. The National Police Academy in Hyderabad,
India agreed to host the course, and all tiger range States were
invited to nominate students. The training took place at the Academy
on 13-24 May 2002. Twenty-eight students attended from the following
countries; Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao People's
Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Russian Federation,
Thailand and Viet Nam.
Responsibility for the training was divided between the Academy
faculty and specialized instructors from the Secretariat, Africa,
Europe and North America. The subjects covered included arrest techniques,
border controls, CITES, covert operations, evidence gathering, fraud,
forensic science, informants, interview techniques, intelligence,
organized crime, personal safety, search and train-the-trainer.
The training received high evaluation ratings from the students
and the Academy. Together with written training materials, each
student also received an electronic version of the presentations
to enable him or her to conduct further training.
Approximately half of the funding needed to hold the course was
raised by the Conservation Treaty Support Fund (CTSF), based in
the United States. CTSF raised USD 42,000 through the sale of the
Bateman tiger painting plus limited edition prints. It is a copy
of this painting that the Secretary-General of CITES is now sending
to the Director of the Academy. Additional funds came from the Government
of the United Kingdom, the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Rhinoceros
and Tiger Conservation Fund and the World Wildlife Fund (US) Species
The students attending the course included Forest Police from
China, three officers from the specialized Inspection Tiger Brigade
in Vladivostok and five officials responsible for wildlife law enforcement
from different parts of India. Specialist instructors included the
senior wildlife crime prosecutor of the U.S. Department of Justice
and an environmental crime officer from the National Police Agency
of the Netherlands.
Note to journalists: A copy of the Secretary-General's
letter to the Director of the National Police Academy is attached.
For more information, please contact John Sellar at +41-22-917-8293
To read previous press releases, go to Archives.