The commitment of the experts, conservationists and participants to the cause of saving the tiger and Asian Big Cat species must be saluted: CBI Chief.
NEW DELHI, JULY 5″ 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.
She 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.
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, 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 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.
He 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, 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.