Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tiger trade: India says no to China

Prachi Bhuchar
Saturday, May 19, 2007 (New Delhi)

India has said that they did not support lifting of China tiger trade ban, as this would in the long run endanger our already dwindling tiger population.

China has been lobbying hard for support to lift the 1993 ban on domestic tiger trade.

The Ministry of Environment, sent out a very short and clear message to the visiting Chinese delegation, 'We will do all we can to save our tigers.'

Recently an eight-member Chinese delegation met officials of the Ministry of Environment and Forests asking for support.

But India strongly objected to China's plans of lifting the ban on domestic trade of tigers as well as its plans to breed tigers in captivity to sell body parts in a growing Chinese market.

Indian officials said that such a move would encourage tiger trade and cross-border poaching and harm tigers across continents.

Biggest looser

India has the most to lose in such a scenario.

Of the seven tiger range states in the world, India is the only one with over a 1000 tigers.

Already over the past decade 40 per cent of India's tigers have disappeared.

In China, a rampant trade has reduced the tiger population from 5,000 to 50 in the past five decades.

''We have made our stand very clear to the Chinese delegation. It could have far reaching consequences for India, if trade opened up even within China. So, we expressed our views to the reps from China,'' said Sujoy Sen, Species Director, World Wildlife Fund.

Aggressive lobbying

The Chinese are aggressively lobbying other tiger range states for support.

They've already visited Thailand and are hoping for some kind of resolution at the next Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species or CITES meet in Rotterdam in June.

China though may have trouble going ahead with its plans most CITES countries are not in favour of lifting the ban on domestic tiger trade.

Conservationists now say that there is some hope for country's Tigers.

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/ story.aspx?id=NEWEN20070012558

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