Trans Boundary Environment Crime and The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau - Seeker's Thoughts

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Friday, 23 November 2018

Trans Boundary Environment Crime and The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau


Introduction: - Wildlife Crime Control Bureau Wins Asia Environment Award for combating transboundary environment crime.

The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has been selected among the winners of the Asia Environment Enforcement Awards for its work in combating trans-boundary environmental crime.

The 2018 Awards is given by UNEP with UN development programme (UNDP), UN Office on Drugs and Crime. INTERPOL (UNODC), USAID, Freeland Foundation, and Government of Sweden.

Understanding the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau
WCCB is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the government under the Environment Ministry to combat organized wildlife crime in the country. It was created in June 2007 by amending wildlife (protection) Act (WLPA), 1972, a special Act to protect wildlife and fauna in the country. (UNDER SECTION 38 (Z) OF WLPA, 1972. 
The body is mandated to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities and to disseminate it to the state and other enforcement agencies for immediate action and established a centralized wildlife crime data bank among many others.

The Capacity?
It is tasked with capacity building of wildlife crime enforcement agencies for a scientific and professional investigation into wildlife crimes and assists states to ensure success in wildlife crimes prosecutions. It advises Union Government on an issue relating to wildlife crimes having national and international ramifications, relevant policy and laws. It also assists and advises the customs authorities in the inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions of wildlife protection Act, the convention on international trade in Endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) and EXIM policy governing such an item.
Knowing the Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards
The Asia Environment Enforcement Awards recognize and celebrate excellence in enforcement by government officials and institution/team combating transboundary environmental in Asia.
Award has been given to recipients who demonstrate excellence and leadership in the following categories: integrity, impact, innovation and collaboration.

This is a second time in row that WCCB is awarded by UN environment. Last year it was awarded for its efforts in conducting and coordinating species-specific wildlife enforcement operation codenamed ‘operation save kurma’. The operation is aimed at combating proliferating illegal trade of live turtles and its parts from the country to destinations abroad.

Wildlife Crimes in India
The Uninformed Government 
Over 30,328 wildlife crimes recorded in India, poaching and wildlife crimes have increased by 52% in India even though the environment ministry claims otherwise. 
Horns captured by Poachers

In 2017 the ministry of environment, forest and climate change informed the parliament that poaching in India has not increased in recent years, a claim that is far from truth. Replying to the question whether poaching of wild animals is on the rise in recent years, the ministry said, “ As informed by the wildlife crime control Bureau, the data provided by the state enforcement agencies to bureau does not indicate such trade.

State of India’s Environment 2017- The Truth
But a recent book titled “State of India’s Environment 2017: in figures” suggests a worrying 52% increase in poaching and wildlife crimes between 2014 and 2016. Over 30,382 wildlife crimes and mortality have been recorded till December 31, 2016, says the book by non-profit centre for science and environment, which has sources the information from the wildlife protection society of India even the number of species that are poached or illegally traded in the country increased from 400 in 2014 to 465 in 2016.

Another worrying trend is that the internet is now fueling illegal trade of wildlife. As per the Union environment ministry, 106 websites are being used for illegal wildlife trade in India. The website list includes Amazon, Quirk, snap deal, eBay and even YouTube.

Tiger poaching in India has risen by 63% in two years, despite the government spending rs 15,000 crore on tiger conservation between 2014 and 2016, poaching cases rose by 63%

A way of forwarding

There are several major actions should be taken to prevent wildlife crime in India. This is often found in the field of wildlife crimes where species become overexploited to increase short-term profits while endangered and eliminating a natural resource for future users. The government should approach the illegal wildlife trade include implementing trade bans or regulatory schemes at the national and international level. Thousands of wild animal have been killed every year. Animal skin and body organ trading keep increasing; Environment ministry should be on alert and create a better mechanism to prevent wildlife crime.