NEW DELHI: Recognizing commendable work done by senior IPS officer Tilotama Varma in the wildlife sector, she was announced as one of the winners of the 2022 Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards (AEEA) in the category of Gender Leadership and Women’s Empowerment. Congratulations.
Giving her the award organiser said, your work against wildlife trafficking in India, notably the successful joint operations under your supervision as well as your efforts towards awareness raising and inter-agency collaboration, has been recognized by a panel of international experts from the United Nations and its partner agencies.
GENDER LEADERSHIP & WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT: Under the leadership of Ms Tilotama Varma, @WCCBHQ conducted 149 joint operations and arrested 363 wildlife traffickers throughout India in the past year.
— UNODC Environment Team (@UNODC_ENV) November 30, 2022
AEEA was created to publicly recognize outstanding achievements by individuals and public organizations in Asia to combat transboundary crimes that affect the environment.
The awards have been determined by a review committee, comprising the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDO), the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Secretariat of the Basel Convention.
Recently she was awarded the prestigious Clark R Bavin wildlife enforcement Award (CITES).
Tilotama Varma an Indian Police Service, since 1990, became the Additional Director of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) in the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change in 2015.
During her time in charge, the Bureau has worked with State and Central Enforcement Agencies on 724 Joint Enforcement Operations, which led to the arrest of 1,598 wildlife traffickers. From June 2021 to May 2022, Varma oversaw 149 joint operations between the WCCB and other State and Central Enforcement Agencies. These operations led to the arrest of 363 criminals, the seizure of large amounts of illegal goods across the country, and the breakup of criminal networks.
In addition to these regular operations, Varma also came up with, planned, and led five Special Wildlife Enforcement Operations that involved all law enforcement agencies across the country. Under her direction, several illegal wildlife trafficking networks have been broken up. Varma has also worked on building the capacity of State Enforcement Agencies, making people who live in and around protected areas more aware of wildlife crime, and making it easier for agencies to work together to fight wildlife crime.