India’s conservation efforts for tortoises, fresh water turtles earn support at CITES CoP19

NEW DELHI: During the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP 19) at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), India reiterated its commitment on conserving tortoises and fresh water turtles in the country, said the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Thursday in a press release.

India’s proposal for induction of fresh water turtle Batagur kachuga earned wide support of the parties. “The proposal was widely appreciated by the parties and well accepted when introduced,» the ministry added.

CITES also recorded the works done by the India in the area of conservation of tortoises and fresh water turtles and efforts made in combating wildlife crime and illegal trade of turtles in the country.

“The resolution documents submitted by the CITES Secretariat on tortoises and fresh water turtles specifically mentioned the result achieved by the country in operations such as those initiated by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau namely Operation Turtshield, which resulted in nabbing many criminals involved in poaching and illegal trade of fresh water turtles and substantial seizures made by the agencies in different part of the country,» the ministry said.

India also reiterated its commitment to conserve tortoises and fresh water turtles in the country. Many species of turtles and freshwater tortoises which are recognized as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or near threatened are already included in Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and given high degree of protection where highlighted.

“India while intervening pressed upon that listing of many such species in CITES Appendix II will further enhance the protection of the species from getting indiscriminately and illegally traded worldwide,» the ministry added.

CITES CoP19 is being held at Panama City from 14-25 November.

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