Wednesday, June 28, 2006

India's wildlife gives common cause to China, Dalai Lama

New Delhi, June 28. (UNI): China and the Dalai Lama have found a common cause in working against trade in wildlife parts, much to India's comfort.

Following a request from India for help in curbing wildlife crime, China has banned use of animal parts in its traditional medicines.

The Dalai Lama has also issued an appeal to his followers against killing wildlife for making robes, a status symbol in Tibet.

"The Chinese response has been very encouraging, and its ban on the use of animal parts in its medicine would discourage wildlife smuggling to that country through Tibet," secretary Environment Pradipto Ghosh told reporters here.

Besides, the Chinese Government has banned trade in wildlife parts and they have even punished one offender with death, he said.

The neighbouring country was also employing priests in its campaign for creating awareness about crime against wildlife.

"We had made the request a few months back and they acted without any delay," he said.

Mr Ghosh said the Dalai Lama's appeal to his followers to desist from trade in wildlife parts would also be very helpful in stopping the practice, as Tibet was one of the main centres of the trade, and the spiritual leader had a large following there, said Mr Ghosh.

The Dalai Lama, who has has been living in India since he fled Tibet after Chinese occupation of the region, has been working for environmental causes for many years.

Tibet has today become the world's leading market for tiger skins. It is understood that Tibetan skin trade and Chinese medicine have played a great part in pushing the demand, which has played havoc with the population of the endangered species.

Shops in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa are abundant in tiger skins and display it openly despite the international ban on the trade.

The link between the market for tiger skins in Tibet and poaching in India were first discovered in 2000, after the police seized a crate of skins being smuggled out of the country.

No comments: