Valmik Thapar speaks at the lecture on the wild tiger of India. The tiger, the iconic animal symbol of Asia, is on the verge of extinction with just a few thousand surviving in the wild. Mr Thapar has spent the last 40 years observing and documenting India’s wild tigers, as a leading natural historian, writer and filmmaker. He has played a significant role in conserving these tigers in India, which is home to more than half the world’s surviving tigers. He has today become one of India’s most respected wildlife experts and conservationists and is currently writing his 30th book. In this presentation, Mr Thapar tells the story of one of nature's most beautiful and majestic animals, and the serious threat it faces from poaching.
John Sellar shows that the harvesting, transportation and delivery of threatened fauna and flora into legal and clandestine markets is now recognised to involve considerable levels of criminality. He shows that these organised crime groups have brought to what historically might have been viewed just as illicit trade, degrees of violence, intimidation, corruption and fraud that are more commonly associated with the trafficking of narcotics and firearms. This also includes human trafficking and the involvement of heavily-armed gangs. Trafficking in wildlife frequently involves money laundering, counterfeiting of permits and licenses, avoidance of currency controls, taxes and import/exit duties, and the acquisition of necessary documents through extortion, coercion and bribery.
John Sellar, OBE, has been engaged in law enforcement for almost four decades, initially in the Scottish Police Service and then for the United Nations. As a Detective, he dealt with serious crime and also human rights abuses. In 1997, Mr Sellar moved to Switzerland, handling anti-smuggling, fraud and organised crime issues for the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), ultimately becoming Chief of Enforcement. During 15 years with CITES, he conducted 230 missions to 65 countries, assessing enforcement in the field and designing strategies to tackle wildlife trafficking.
Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$150 for Members and HK$200 for guests and others.