India exempted from review obligations related to trade in Red Sanders | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India exempted from review obligations related to trade in Red Sanders

ByJayashree Nandi
Nov 13, 2023 06:18 PM IST

Red sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus) is a high market value tree, endemic to few districts in Andhra Pradesh

New Delhi: India has been removed from Review of Significant Trade (RST) for Red Sanders, under Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which can be a major boost to farmers who grow Red Sanders for export, the Union environment ministry has said.

India has been removed from the Review of Significant Trade for Red Sanders (Representative Image) (FILE PHOTO)
India has been removed from the Review of Significant Trade for Red Sanders (Representative Image) (FILE PHOTO)

India was under the Review of Significant Trade (RST) process for Red Sanders since 2004. The CITES RST process enables disciplinary action in the form of trade suspensions directed at countries that do not meet their obligations.

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Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav said based on India’s compliance and reporting, India has been removed from the Review of Significant Trade for Red Sanders. “The development is a major boost for the farmers who grow Red Sanders,” Yadav said.

The decision was taken at the 77th meeting of the Standing Committee of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) held in Geneva from November 6 to 10.

India has been a party to the CITES since 1976. A delegation led by SP Yadav, Additional Director General of Forests (PT) & CITES Management Authority-India, participated in the 77th Standing Committee meeting.

Red sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus) is a high market value tree, endemic to few districts in Andhra Pradesh. The species has been listed as Appendix II under CITES since 1994.

“The species has been subjected to threats of illegal harvesting and smuggling leading to their depletion from natural forest. However, red sanders wood sourced from artificially propagation (plantations) comprise a major part of legal export. The red sanders species has been listed for the Review of Significant Trade (RST) process more or less since 2004. The CITES RST process enables disciplinary action in the form of trade suspensions directed at countries that do not meet their obligations,” the statement by Environment ministry said.

RST is a process through which the CITES Standing Committee places increased scrutiny on the exports of a species from a country to determine if the Convention is being properly implemented. In the past, it has even led to a recommendation to suspend trade with India, the statement added.

India had been updating the CITES Secretariat on the status of export of red sanders from India.

Continuous pursuance on the matter with the CITES Secretariat, Standing Committee and Plants Committee has led the Standing Committee in this (77th) meeting to decide on removing red sanders from the RST process.

“The removal of red sanders from the RST process from India was unconditional. This action will help the farmers growing Red sanders to increase their income through cultivation and export of red Sanders from the plantations. It would also help in motivating farmers to grow more red sanders trees as a source of sustainable income,” the statement added.

“It takes 20 to 30 years to grow an optimal size red sanders. In a situation where there is not enough artificial regeneration, any such relaxation in scrutiny is going to increase pressure on wild grown Red Sanders. There is good growth of red sanders in Chittoor and Kadapa districts in the wild. The way to promote tradeable timber is to say if you nurture red sanders for 20 to 30 years, we can get it traded easily. But such sudden relaxations can trigger demand for red sanders from the wild,” said a retired forest official from Andhra Pradesh who did not wish to be named.

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