Kolkata Current Affairs
The fourth meeting of South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN), an inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement agency was in Kolkata, West Bengal (India) from May 8-10, 2018. It was first meeting of SAWEN to be held in India since its inception in 2011.
Key Outcomes of meeting
The two-day conference was attended by representatives of seven (excluding Pakistan) out of eight member countries. Six proposals, including tracking of wildlife smuggling route, review of existing laws and structure for the organisation were tabled during the meeting. Participating countries also adopted many resolutions to curb wildlife crime in the region. They agreed on having operational framework for strengthening the regional body to combat wildlife crime.
South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN)
SAWEN is regional inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement support body of South Asian Countries. It was launched in January, 2011 in Paro, Bhutan during the second meeting of the South Asia Expert Group on Illegal Wildlife Trade. Its secretariat is in Kathmandu, Nepal. Its regional network comprises of eight South Asia countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Mandate: SAWEN aims at working collectively as a strong regional inter-governmental body to combat wildlife crime by attainting common mutual goals and approaches for combating illegal trade in the region. It also seeks to control trans-boundary wildlife crime through communication, coordination, collaboration, capacity building and cooperation in the region.
South Asia region is very vulnerable to illegal traffic and wildlife crimes due to presence of precious biodiversity and large markets as well as traffic routes for wildlife products in the region. It is mainly due to presence of large markets as well as traffic routes for wildlife products in the region. There was need among South Asian countries for collaboration in harmonising as well as enforcing wildlife protection in region for effective conservation of biodiversity. Establishment of SAWEN provided these eight South Asian Countries common platform for harmonising as well as enforcing wildlife protection in region
Kolkata, capital of West Bengal became first metro city in India to get floating market. It was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The floating market is located on lake at Patuli in South Kolkata which is 400 metres long and 60 metres wide. The lake has been transformed into the floating market similar to the one in Thailand.
The aim of floating market is to rehabilitate over 200 shopkeepers from nearby market that was demolished for the widening of Eastern Metropolitan Bypass (EMB) — an important road that connects the northern parts of Kolkata o the eastern and southern tips.
The market will host at least 114 boats, each one accommodating two shops. These shops will sell regular or daily-use items that include vegetables, fruits, flowers, fish and meat and poultry. Shoppers can approach these boats through wooden walkways.
Special provisions have been made to ensure that water in lake does not stink and the aquatic life survives. Nets will be routinely used to fish out vegetable peel, fish scales and other waste from the water. The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) is executing agency of floating market.