Geneva : Dalbergia genus (all species- around 200 including sheesham and rosewood) has been enlisted in the Appendix-II of the CITES in 2016 resulting in the issuance of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permit by Wild Life Crime Control Bureau [ WCCB ] or comparable document in lieu of CITES permit i.e. Vriksh Shipment Certificate by EPCH for exports of wooden handicrafts items made from Dalbergia sissoo & Dalbergia latifolia. The issuance of certificates include establishing of the chain of custody and legality of the procured wood by the exporters.
Rakesh Kumar, Director General EPCH said, “the 18th meeting of Conference of Parties (CoP) of CITES is under way in Geneva which began on the 17th August 2019 and will continue till 28th August, 2019. Based on Non Detrimental Finding (NDF) study carried out by Botanical Survey of India, Dalbergia sissoo does not fall into any threatened category and is available in abundance both in wild and cultivated populations and on the basis of these findings of NDF study, a proposal has been submitted by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India to CITES for delisting of Dalbergia sissoo from Appendix II of CITES”.
In order to create awareness amongst opinion makers, Forester’s, diplomats, delegates attending the CoP 18, press and other stakeholders, a Panel discussion was organized on “Dalbergia sissoo – Trees for Life and livelihood” on 18th August 2019 on the side lines of CoP18. The panellists included Shri Siddhant Das, Director General of Forests, MoEFCC, Manmohan Singh Negi Additional Director General (Wild Life), MoEFCC, Rakesh Kumar, Director General, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts, Anil K Singh, Ex-PCCF, CEO GIPL India and Florian Fackler, Director, Holz Leute, Germany. Over 50 participants from various countries attended the meeting with representatives from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), CITES, signatory countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Nigeria, Bolivia, Italy, UK, USA. Arun Kumar Yadav, Director, O/o Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles and Bashir Ahmed, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India (Geneva) also attended the meeting.
The proposal moved to delist one of the species under Dalbergia genus i.e Dalbergia sissoo (Sheesham) in the interest of the artisans and farmers of the sub-continent along with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Yesterday after side event some countries like Tanzania and other African countries agreed to support India. DG forest and team are upbeat with the event and strategy. The proposal will be deliberated in coming days and will be put to vote amongst the parties.
The efforts of the Council are also substantiated by the fact that the exports of wooden handicrafts have registered a growth of 27.13% during the year 2018-19 with Rs. 5424.91 crores, however, during the first 4 months of 2019-20 [April – July] exports of wooden handicrafts have registered a growth of 1.27% and stands at Rs. 1680.69 crores.