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.