Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi,, June 12, 2007
India will soon sign a tripartite protocol with Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh on tiger conservation, the ministry of Environment and Forest informed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species meeting in Hague this week.
The protocol will be for joint effort between governments of the there countries for better tiger conservation, checking smuggling of tiger body parts and conducting joint tiger census.
While with Bangladesh, India have a common tiger reserve border, Myanmar is the commonly used route to smuggle tiger body parts from India to south east Asia and China.
Tigers from Sunderbans regularly cross over to the Bangladesh part of the Sunderbans, a ministry official said. "Joint conservation effort will help in preserving the remaining tiger population and knowing their exact population," a ministry official said. During 2006-07 census, the officials of the Wildlife Institute of India had found that many tigers regularly cross over to Bangladesh.
The ministry said the draft protocol has been forwarded to the Ministry of External Affairs for finalisation. The environment ministry has also informed CITES about its initiatives to control wildlife crime with setting up of Wildlife Crime Bureau. India has also sought a comprehensive proposal to control trade of wildlife body parts through internet.
India alongwith Nepal is also expected to oppose a suggestion from China to allow use of body parts of tigers in farms for medicinal purpose. China wants some relaxation on ban of trade of tiger body parts stating that the ban had adversely impacted sale of Chinese traditional medicines.
India, which became member of CITES in 1976, has, however, not finalized its position on a CITES resolution for finalizing the definition of marine environment not under the jurisdiction of any state. The environment ministry has sought opinion of the External Affairs ministry and Department of Ocean Development before finalizing its position.