Guidelines for Import of Exotic Species

Context

  • Recently, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) issued an advisory to make a voluntary disclosure for people importing “exotic live species”.

About Exotic species: 

  • The Exotic Live Species are plant or animal species that move from the original range to a new one.
  • They areinvasive, non-indigenous and bioinvaders. They are species of plants or animals that are growing in a non-native environment. 
  • Exotic live species shall be construed to mean only “the animals named under the Appendices I, II and III of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora”.

About Appendices I, II and III to the Convention 

  • They are lists of species afforded different levels or types of protection from over-exploitation
  • CITES Appendix I, no trade happensAppendix II trade can happen with prior permissionand inAppendix III there are a large number of animals and birds which can be traded.

What is the new Advisory?

  • The phrase “exotic live species” includes “animals named under the Appendices I, II and III of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora”.
  • It does not include species from the Schedules of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
  • This will create a process where all imports will be screened.
  • As of now, the imports are being made through the Director-General of Foreign Trade and State Forest departments are not kept in the loop.
  • For new “exotic live species”, the importer should obtain a no-objection certificate from the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) of the State.
  • For existing species, stocks shall be declared by the owner/ holder (stock, as on 1 January 2020) to the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) of the concerned State or UT.