From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : CITES, Species mentioned
Mains level : Conservation of wildlife species in India
- India’s proposal to upgrade the protection of star tortoises (Geochelone elegans), the smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) and small-clawed otters (Anoyx cinereus) in CITES have been approved.
- The proposal to remove Rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo) from Appendix II of Convention is also under consideration.
Benefits of the move
- These species have been listed under Appendix I of CITES and will now enjoy the highest degree of protection as there will be a complete international ban enforced on their trade.
- 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 is 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.