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India Exempted from CITES RST for Red Sanders

Why is it in the news?

  • India has been granted an exemption from the CITES Review of Significant Trade (RST) for Red Sanders.

 CITES Review of Significant Trade (RST)


  • The CITES Review of Significant Trade (RST) Management System focuses on cases where trade may threaten a specific species from a specific country.
  • It allows for disciplinary actions, such as trade suspensions, against countries not meeting their obligations under CITES.


Reasons for India’s Exemption from CITES RST

  • India had been under the CITES RST process for Red Sanders since 2004.
  • The exemption is a result of a 2022 amendment to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, aligning it with CITES provisions under the CITES National Legislation Programme (NLP).
  • This exemption now permits farmers in India to engage in legitimate trade involving Red Sanders.


Red Sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus)

·       Red Sanders is a plant species endemic to the tropical dry deciduous forests in the Eastern Ghats region of Andhra Pradesh, India.

·       It is known locally as Yerra Chandanam and Rakta Chandanam.

·       This species has a slow growth rate and typically reaches maturity after 25 to 40 years.

·       It is fire-resistant and can withstand drought conditions.

·       Red Sanders is classified as an ‘endangered species’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

·       It is also listed under Schedule IV of The Wildlife Protection Act in India.


CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora):

·       CITES is an international agreement voluntarily adhered to by states and regional economic integration organizations.

·       Participating states are referred to as Parties.

·       While CITES is legally binding on the Parties, it does not replace national laws but complements them.

·       All import, export, and re-export of species covered by CITES must be authorized through a permit system.

·       CITES Appendix I lists species threatened with extinction, and import or export permits for these are rarely issued, typically for non-commercial purposes.

·       CITES Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction but requires strict trade regulation.

·       The Conference of the Parties (CoP), which convenes every two years, evaluates proposals from Parties based on biological and trade criteria to determine if a species should be listed in Appendix I or II.


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