States pulled up for lacking wildlife investigating units (India)


Richa Sharma, New Indian Express

Date Published

With increase in cases of wildlife crimes across the country, Ministry of Environment and Forests has pulled up states for not setting up dedicated units for investigating wildlife crime cases, two years after all states committed to it.      

According to environment ministry, the issue of wildlife crime and illegal wildlife trafficking are of foremost importance for better protection of precious wildlife in the country.

In various inter-agency coordination meeting and on the request of the states, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has issued an advisory on November 14, 2014 for constitution of wildlife crime control units in states and union territories.

“Only few states have set up such units so far and states may indicate issues if any in setting up of such units to investigate forest as well as wildlife cases,” said the ministry. The issue was also discussed at the meeting of additional and principal secretaries of forest departments of all states and it has been reiterated to constitute the units.  

The bureau has created an online wildlife crime database management system to enable divisional level officials in state forest and wildlife department to incorporate data on daily basis on to the system. For user credentials Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir are yet to submit details of their divisional units.

“Regular uploading of data has not started in most of the states and that leads to confusion and poor coordination among states,” the ministry added.

The states have also been asked to add more wildlife forensic testing laboratories for faster redressal of cases.

“Samples for forensic examination in wildlife crime cases are being sent to Wildlife Institute of India, Zoological Survey of India and Botanical Survey of India. Almost all states own forensic science laboratories, state governments may be pursued to add wildlife crime forensic facilities there,” said the ministry.