Smuggling of rhino horn
- Recently a report on ‘Rhino Horn Trafficking’ has been presented at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
- An analysis of the same report found that rhino horn is being smuggled without fear of the law.
Other key findings of the report
- Most of the rhino horn is trafficked in six countries (South Africa, Mozambique, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and China).
- Online trading, social media platforms and instant messaging apps have become the most important channels for illegal trade.
Instructions to parties
- Parties to CITES must ensure timely reporting of horn seizures to countries with rhinoceros populations and D.N. a. Must share samples.
- In addition, the parties should continuously review trends related to the illegal hunting of rhinoceros.
- Demand reduction programs should be implemented in areas where illegal rhino horn markets exist.
- There are 5 species of rhinoceros in the whole world: white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, Sumatran rhinoceros, giant one-horned rhinoceros and Javan rhinoceros.
- The Sumatran, Javan and black rhinos are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
- The white rhino is ‘Near Threatened’ and the great one-horned rhinoceros is ‘Vulnerable’.
- Rhinoceros horn is made of a protein called keratin. Due to this protein, our hair and nails grow.
Habitat: They are found in tropical and sub-tropical grasslands, savannas and scrub forests, tropical moist forests, deserts and shrublands.
- About 75% of the total population of the giant one-horned rhinoceros is now present in only three states of India (Assam, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal).
Steps taken for the conservation of Rhinoceros in India:
- Indian Rhino Mission 2020 has been started,
- involving local people in conservation,
- land corridors for rhino movement are being rehabilitated,
- Rhinos are being monitored and their counting is also being done,
- Organizations like World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and TRAFFIC are being taken for nature to deal with illegal trade.
CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild founa Flora):
- It is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals from threats from international trade.
- CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted at a meeting of member states of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1963.
- CITES came into force in July 1975. There are currently 183 countries party to CITES (this includes both countries and organizations for regional economic integration).
Objective: Its objective is to ensure that their existence is not threatened due to international trade of wild animals and plants.
- The secretariat of CITES is administered by the United Nations Environment Program which is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
- It plays the role of a coordinator, advisor and service provider in the mechanism of the Convention (CITES).
Source – The Hindu