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China to help India in protecting its big cats

world Updated: Sep 03, 2010 16:41 IST

PTI
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Under attack for not cracking down on use of tiger bones and body parts in Chinese traditional medicine, China today agreed to share "actionable intelligence" with India.

An Indian Environment and Forests delegation, which held talks with their Chinese counterparts for the past five days, came back today on an optimistic note on Chinese seriousness in cracking down to end trafficking of tiger parts.

"While acknowledging the poaching and illegal trafficking of wildlife products including tiger body parts as the biggest threat to wildlife conservation in the region, both the countries have shown willingness and agreed to share intelligence besides nominating Nodal Officers for sharing of real time information," an official statement issued at the end of the visit said.

China has shown considerable interest in joining the Global Tiger Forum, the only intergovernmental international body working for Tiger conservation in the region, it said.

Indian officials believe that China's support for Tiger conservation is crucial as the demand for Tiger parts, especially bones is believed to be the main reason for poaching of Tigers in India and other parts of the world.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had in January this year blamed the growing demand for tiger and leopard parts in China for poaching of big cats in India.

The Indian delegation said both the countries have expressed willingness to share experiences and best practices in the management of Protected Areas (PAs) including Tiger Reserves, training and capacity building of PA managers, scientists and technicians in use of modern technologies for effective management of Protected Areas.

The two sides also stressed the need for collaborative investigation into the backward and forward linkages of wildlife crimes and deal with organised criminal syndicates operating in the region. Organising joint awareness programmes on wildlife enforcement to sensitise the personnel of various agencies manning the international borders was identified a priority area for cooperation.

Both the sides were also convinced that bilateral cooperation in wildlife matters needed to be strengthened through regular periodic bilateral exchange of delegations," the statement said.

The Indian delegation headed by A K Srivastava, Inspector General of Forests, held talks with a number of Chinese officials from the Management Office for Import and Export of Endangered Species and Department of Wildlife Conservation, State Forestry Administration of China.

Indian officials said both the countries have given their consent for the renewal of the MOU on the 1995 Tiger conservation which calls for efforts on both sides to stop poaching. The protocol gets renewed every five years.