Recognising the danger posed to wildlife from illegal trade, India and its South Asian neighbours have agreed to develop institutional mechanisms to promote harmonised and collaborative approaches to common threats, a government document said.
However, the modalities of this agreement and the ensuing legal structures evolved at the First Meeting on Illegal Wildlife Trade in South Asia held in Kathmandu two years ago are still under discussion.
India is a lucrative market in the USD 20 billion global illegal wildlife trade. At a time when poaching and illegal trade of wildlife articles have assumed alarming proportions, the environment ministry document has conceded that the South Asian nations were “not resourced adequately” to deal with the problem.
A number of regional initiatives have emerged, including SACEP (South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme), SAWTI (South Asia Wildlife Trade Initiative) and SAARC Convention on Cooperation on Environment to check the illegal trade of wildlife articles. “But the agencies have not been resourced adequately to implement activities,” the document
Environmental and Social Framework Document for “Strengthening Regional Cooperation in Wildlife Protection in Asia”-- prepared for financial assistance from the World Bank under regional IDA (International Development Association) window.
When contacted, officials in the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) refused to share more details.Wild animals are killed for the flourishing illegal international trade of their skins, bones, flesh, fur, used for decoration, clothing, medicine and unconventional exotic food.
The Deccan Herald, 1 July 2012