China, India to sign MoU to protect tigers, chirus
By Yojna Gusai
The Asian Age, New Delhi, 29 May 2006
New Delhi, May 28: Come Monday, both India and China are set to
finalise the agenda, to be tabled before the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
A Chinese delegation is in India, headed by state forestry
administration deputy director-general Meng Xianlin in the endangered
species import and export management office of the country. The
delegation is to meet senior officers, including Union environment and
forests ministry, and is likely to reinforce the memorandum of
understanding signed by the two countries on Monday.
The delegation will be visiting Corbet National Park, along with other
tiger reserves in the country next week. The two countries have signed
a memorandum of understanding, which is being hailed as historic by
An Indian delegation of MoEF officials will be going to China, during
the first week of next month to strengthen the commitment. It will be
India’s "big cats" and Tibetan antelope chiru, that will find
special mention during the meeting of the Cites. As both chiru and
tiger species are dwindling in China and India, the two countries have
decided to mutually strengthen the conservation efforts.
"Till now, there were MoUs signed where other countries were also
included. But this MoU is exclusively between India and China,
therefore, efforts will be on mutual basis. We are losing our tigers
and China is losing chiru. While China has the biggest market of tiger
skins and bones, India has huge market of shahtoosh, even though both
are illegal," said a senior official of the MoEF.
Both countries, though unofficially, maintain that there is a "barter
system" going on between poachers for chiru wool and tigers parts. The
next week’s scheduled meeting between the delegation and MoEF
officials will try to plug the loopholes, including porous Indo-Tibet
border, which are being utilised by hunters and poachers.