Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Funny Idea

A team of Indian wildlife officials is scheduled to visit China in November to specifically discuss tiger and leopard poaching because of the fear that poaching will increase drastically in 2010 when the ‘‘year of the tiger’’ will be celebrated in China, which comes once in 12 years and when demand for tiger and leopard parts shoots up. During Union Minister of Forest and Environment Jairam Ramesh’s recent visit to China, his ministry in a written statement to Chinese officials submitted one of India’s main concerns relating to poaching: that demand for tiger and leopard skins and bones would go up next year. India has also asked China to enforce a tiger skin registration scheme and crack down on tiger trade through Nepal. This apart, India has demanded that China should restrict its tiger farms as they create a demand for Indian tiger products, while urging the Chinese government to put a domestic tiger-trade ban in place. The assumption in the above communication to China is that it will share and appreciate India’s poaching concerns and sincerely come to the aid of the Indian government. Puerile as the assumption is in the backdrop of known Chinese betrayal on a whole lot of bilateral issues, Ramesh would do well to evolve methods within the country to protect our wildlife from poaching syndicates rather than look for assistance from countries like China. The idea of going to China with the expectation that it will address our concerns and cooperate with us is indeed funny and must have come from officials in Ramesh’s Ministry who do not want to shoulder the responsibility of working out tangible wildlife protection formulae. Or is the whole idea Ramesh’s own? THE SENTINEL

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