Union Minister for Environment and Forests Smt Jayanthi Natarajan says Swift and Certain Retribution for Wildlife Crimes Must Be Enforced to save the Tiger and other Endangered Species in the South Asian Region

Director CBI Shri Ranjit Sinha says that Commitment displayed by wildlife experts and conservationists to save the Asian Big Cat deserves salutation

Press Release
New Delhi , 05.07.2013

            The Union Minister of State for Environment & Forests Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan has said that swift and certain retribution and  punishment for wildlife crimes is essential to effectively counter poaching and killing endangered species.

 

            Delivering the Valedictory Address of the Investigative Capacity Building Programme against  Wildlife Crime, organized by CBI & Interpol, the Minister added that clear definition of culpability is required so that those indulging in destruction of environment and wildlife can be punished. Smt Jayanthi Natarajan said that strict penalties coupled with strong and clear extradition  agreements between countries are required to prevent illegal wildlife trading.  The Minister stated that with the increasing pressure of human population, the tiger, the elephant and the rhinos have become the three most threatened animals in the South Asian region.

 

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            Complimenting CBI and Interpol for organizing the Capacity Building Programme, the Minister for Environment & Forests said such workshops and sessions for law enforcement agencies in this region will go a long way in tackling poaching and wildlife crime. Smt Natarajan opined that , at present, wildlife crime is a low risk option, especially for those rich and powerful masterminds and financiers of wildlife crime who often go scot free even though  persons  indulging in actual poaching may be caught by police and forest officers.

 

            In his welcome address, Director CBI, Shri Ranjit Sinha said this capacity building programme has been found to be very useful to all the participant countries and organizations. He said that  the commitment of the  experts, conservationists and participants to the cause of saving the tiger and Asian Big Cat species  must be saluted.

 

            Speaking on the occasion, CBI Joint Director Shri O.P.Galhotra who supervises the Wildlife Crime Unit,  said that the CBI  takes up wildlife crime cases only on referrals , but, in the interest of preserving the tiger,  there is an urgent need to convince  14 state governments in the country, which are home to tigers , to accord general consent empowering CBI to carry out investigations. Shri Galhotra said that presently Uttarakhand, Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand have accorded the requisite general consent. 

 

            The five day Capacity Building Programme  for Big Cat related Crimes in South Asia (July 1-5,2013) , organized by the CBI and Interpol, and was attended by participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka . Representatives from Interpol, WWF-India and USA-AID were also present in the workshop. 

 

            The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau in India, National Tiger Conservation Authority and TRAFFIC India were partners in this workshop. The Programme included sessions on New Initiatives in Tiger Poaching, Trends in Seizures, Tiger Genome Projects, Effective Prosecution of Wildlife Crimes, Wildlife Forensics and  Investigating Wildlife Smugglers. The sessions were addressed by experts in wildlife crime, Interpol and CBI officers, forest officers including  Directors of Panna and Jim Corbett National Parks, tiger conservationists, senior lawyers specializing in wildlife crime and forensic experts.

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