Millennium Post

Wooden handicrafts grow despite curbs on Sheesham

New Delhi: Dalbergia Spp has been enlisted in the Appendix-II of the CITES in 2016 resulting in the issuance of 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, Executive Director EPCH said, that the Council on its part has been regularly taking up the issue of delisting of Dalbergia sissoo and Dalbergia latifolia from Appendix II of the CITES so that the requirement of issuance of CITES permit or comparable document can be done away with. The 18th meeting of Conference of Parties (CoP) of CITES is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in 2019 and in order for the Sheesham wood to be delisted from Appendix-II of CITES, a proposal is required to be forwarded by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) before 24th December 2018 to CITES. As per our internal assessment, Sheesham is not an endangered species, however, the final report of non-detrimental finding is yet to be released by MoEFCC.

Elaborating further, Kumar, said, a High Level Meeting held on 29th October, 2018 under the Chairmanship of the Additional Director General of Forests and CITES Management Authority, India was attended by EPCH and other stakeholders including WCCB, Botanical Survey of India, Ministry of Agriculture and others. The meeting was convened to discuss the findings of Non-Detrimental Finding Study [NDF] submitted by Botanical Survey of India. The MoEFCC has decided that on the basis of the findings of NDF study, a proposal will be submitted to CITES for delisting of Dalbergia sissoo from Appendix II of CITES.

O P Prahladka, Chairman EPCH said, "VRIKSH has paved way for wooden handicrafts to become compliant with international trade regulations and helped the exporters in expediting exports in a time bound manner. He further said, placing of Sheesham and Rose Wood in Appendix II almost jeopardized the exports of wooden handicrafts from the country, however, EPCH with its proactive strategy has been able to ensure that the exports of wooden products of these two species are being made without any hindrance."

The exports of wooden handicrafts have registered a growth of 8.97 per cent during the year 2017-18 with Rs. 4267.37 crores.

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