Poaching and illegal trade of in demand species perpetrated by organized criminal syndicates operating at transnational scales presents great challenges to species conservation. The UN in 2016 has reported that globally, the value of illegal business of wildlife animal parts and products is estimated to be US $ 7 - 23 billion per year. Seizure cases of illegal wildlife parts and products show that Nepal is mainly used as a transit country and also targeted as a source for species such as the tigers, rhinos, snow leopards, red panda and pangolins. Challenges in effective law enforcement are due to remoteness of trading routes, limited coordination and sensitivity among law enforcement agencies, inadequate skilled human resource and lack of high-end technology makes Nepal susceptible to wildlife crime.
Wildlife crime control necessitates well-coordinated enforcement response reinforced by modern technology, and engaging the local communities to avoid their involvement in wildlife crime. NTNC focuses on creating capacities both at the grass-root and institutional levels to effectively combat wildlife crime. At the institutional level, NTNC is working with the Government of Nepal to strengthen the institutional capacity of Wildlife Crime Control Bureaus and National Tiger Conservation Committee. A major effort has been in capacitating the frontline law enforcement staff -- the Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, Customs, protected areas and divisional forest offices in combating wildlife crime. NTNC has contributed in improving wildlife crime vigilance through improved forest patrols roads, guard posts and mobilization of Community-based Anti-poaching Units (CBAPU). In effort to strengthen transboundary collaboration to address transnational wildlife crime, NTNC worked together with the Government of Nepal in establishing and institutionalizing the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) which is an intergovernmental wildlife law enforcement support body of South Asian countries. Destruction of wildlife stockpiles in 2016 was a milestone achievement for Nepal in which NTNC played a major role to initiate scientific management of wildlife stockpiles in the country. In the coming days, NTNC will continue its efforts in combating wildlife crime in Nepal through further capacity enhancement programmes for the law enforcement agencies, engaging the local communities, adopting new technology and enhancing transboundary collaboration.