From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Red Sanders
Mains level : Not Much
The CITES trade database has recorded 28 incidents of Red Sanders confiscation, seizure, and specimen from the wild being exported from India.
- The species, Pterocarpus santalinus, is an Indian endemic tree species, with a restricted geographical range in the Eastern Ghats.
- It is a very slow-growing tree species that attains maturity in natural forests after 25-40 years.
- It is endemic to a distinct tract of forests in Andhra Pradesh.
- It is mainly found in Chittoor, Kadapa, Nandhyal, Nellore, Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh.
- It was classified as ‘near threatened’ in 2018 and has now joined the ‘endangered’ list once again in 2021.
- It is listed under Appendix II of CITES and is banned from international trade.
Legal protection in India
- The Union Environment Ministry had decided to keep Red Sanders (red sandalwood) OUT of the Schedule VI of Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, arguing that this would discourage the cultivation of the rare plant species.
- Schedule VI regulates and restricts the cultivation, possession, and sale of a rare plant species.
Threats to this specie
- Red Sanders are known for their rich hue and therapeutic properties, are high in demand across Asia, particularly in China and Japan.
- They are used in cosmetics and medicinal products as well as for making furniture, woodcraft and musical instruments.
- Its popularity can be gauged from the fact that a tonne of Red Sanders costs anything between Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore in the international market.
Try this question from CSP 2016:
Q.With reference to ‘Red Sanders’, sometimes seen in the news, consider the following statements:
- It is a tree species found in a part of South India.
- It is one of the most important trees in the tropical rain forest areas of South India.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Post your answers here.
Back2Basics: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
- CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
- It is as an international agreement aimed at ensuring “that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival”.
- It was drafted after a resolution was adopted at a meeting of the members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1963.
- It entered into force on July 1, 1975, and now has 183 parties.
- The Convention is legally binding on the Parties in the sense that they are committed to implementing it; however, it does not take the place of national laws.
- India is a signatory to and has also ratified CITES convention in 1976.
- CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls.
- All import, export, re-exports and introduction from the sea of species covered by the convention has to be authorized through a licensing system.
- It has three appendices:
- Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade-in specimens of these species are permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
- Appendix II provides a lower level of protection.
- Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling trade.
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both are correct
Option (a). Regenerates in dry hot climates not tropical rain forests.