From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : About the campaign
Mains level : Curbing illicit trade in wildlife
- UN Environment and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has launched an awareness campaign for the protection of wildlife in the backdrop of rising illegal wildlife trade through airports.
“Not all animals migrate by choice” Campaign
- Campaign launched by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India and UN Environment aimed at airports across India.
- The campaign complements worldwide action on illegal trade in wildlife through UN Environment’s global campaign, Wild for Life.
- In collaboration with the Airports Authority of India and GMR Group, the campaign will travel across 22 airports across India over the next year.
Which animals are included?
- In the first phase of the campaign, Tiger, Pangolin, Star Tortoise and Tokay Gecko have been chosen as they are highly endangered due to illegal trading in International markets.
- Phase two will see more threatened species and explore other routes of trafficking.
Why these animals?
- Tiger is traded for its skin, bones and body parts.
- Pangolin, the most illegally traded wild mammal on the planet is trafficked for its meat and its scales are used in traditional medicines.
- Star Tortoise for meat and pet trade and Tokay Gecko in traditional medicine mostly into South East Asia and particularly Chinese Markets.
Why such move?
- Recent media reports on seizures of illegally traded species and their parts at airports is a growing indication of rampant wildlife trafficking.
- Some of the major wildlife species being smuggled through airports are star tortoises, live birds, Shahtoosh shawls, tiger and leopard body parts, ivory, rhino horns, pangolin and pangolin scales, sea shells, sea-horse, Sea-cucumber, red sanders, agarwood, deer antlers, mongoose hairs, reptile skins, live snakes, lizards, corals, orchids and medicinal plants.
About Wildlife Crime Control Bureau
- WCCB is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the GoI under the MoEFCC, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
- Under Section 38 (Z) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, it is mandated to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities.
- It aims to:
- disseminate the same to State and other enforcement agencies for immediate action so as to apprehend the criminals;
- establish a centralized wildlife crime data bank;
- co-ordinate actions by various agencies in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of the Act;
- assist foreign authorities and international organization concerned to facilitate co-ordination and universal action for wildlife crime control;
- capacity building of the wildlife crime enforcement agencies for scientific and professional investigation into wildlife crimes and assist State Governments to ensure success in prosecutions related to wildlife crimes;
- and advise the Government of India on issues relating to wildlife crimes having national and international ramifications, relevant policy and laws.
- It also assists and advises the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions of Wild Life Protection Act, CITES and EXIM Policy governing such an item.