WWF started SMART to end poaching & illegal wildlife
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pakistan launched a five-day first international capacity building workshop on Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) for eliminating poaching and illegal wildlife trade in the country.
WWF-Pakistan hosted the first national zero-poaching and SMART consultation workshop in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change in 2017, which enabled WWF-Pakistan to initiate the very first SMART based snow leopard monitoring patrolling system in collaboration with the provincial Wildlife Departments.
Rab Nawaz, Senior Director Programmes, WWF-Pakistan explained how illegitimate wildlife trade was now recognized as a transnational organized crime due to its overwhelming impacts on wildlife and the extent of illegal profits.
Manager Wildlife WWF-Pakistan, Hamera Aisha said Pakistan had become the first country to implement SMART patrolling system based on wildlife monitoring and conservation systems in the selected Protected Areas (PAs) of the country for snow leopard preservation in Gilgit-Baltistan and overall wildlife species in Margalla National Park.
The software was totally a modern technology reachable both on android smart phones and personal computers having Global Positioning System (GPS), pictures and various other features that would help wildlife conservators and national park managers to handle patrolling and monitoring of huge areas under their control.
Deputy Conservator Wildlife and National Focal Point for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Ministry of Climate Change, Saman Hussain Khan appreciated WWF-Pakistan for arranging the first training workshop on SMART as part of the broader zero-poaching frame-work.
Khan added that PAs had been rundown of resources, introducing latest technology solutions like SMART would help in not only building capacity of the wildlife and forest rangers but would also assist in reformation the monitoring and reporting processes.
SMART consultant, WWF International, Wei Lim Yap who is leading the training said, “It is difficult to detect illegal trade of each species.
SMART uses technology such as camera trapping, which can be of massive support in limitation of illegal wildlife trade. The aptitude building had been made and the project would continue for six months where quarterly or monthly assessment of the progress would be conducted.
Training will help in setting the basis for the provincial wildlife authorities to adopt and furnish themselves with latest tools and technologies critical to tackling poachers.