FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, June 6: The Institution of Engineers (India), Silchar local centre, celebrated World Environment Day last night here. The session was chaired by Professor D P Roy, former principal of Silchar Polytechnic.
The discussion centred round on ‘Illegal trade in Wild Life’, a relevant and current topic that is causing concern among all the turalists. It is a matter of deep concern because animals and birds, however big or small, have been pushed into the threshold of extinction. In his iugural address, Professor Dr. D P Roy said, “The day is celebrated across the country and the globe to raise awareness about the need for protection and preservation of wild life.” He added that more than 100 countries have joined the initiative to protect flora and fau of the earth.
Professor Roy mentioned it in particular illegal trade in wildlife which has raised an alarm and it has to be addressed seriously. One-horned rhinos, tigers, elephants, seals, gorillas and other species of animals have already entered the list of endangered species. “Both tiol and intertiol level campaigns have been launched for ectment of suitable laws to protect the endangered species,” he added.
Dr. Pan Deb said, “Wild life trade means sale or exchange of wild animal and plant resources illegally by people. This can involve living animals and plants or a diverse range of products needed or prized by humans that include medicil ingredients, timber, fish and other food products. At times, it is legal because various species of both plants and animals have their medicil values.”
Enlightening the audiences, he said that wild life or wild animals refer to all living things, plants, invertebrates and vertebrates outside the direct control of man.
He also said that the Bhutanese royal people wear clothes made form tigers’ skin and so none can question them. It is part of their tradition and royalty. Illegal trade of baby elephants in Thailand is on the topmost rung of ladder that profits a minimum of 7,000 US Dollars. The list includes various animals like bears, leopards, monkeys, pangolins, rhinos, skes, sharks, tigers and tortoises.
Speaking on the reasons behind people’s interest in wild life trade, Deb said, “Human beings use leathers, furs, feathers, everything from herbal remedies, traditiol medicines to ingredients for industrial pharmaceuticals and all these are but by-products of various plants and animals. Religion also plays a vital role in motivating people to indulge in various wild life trades.”
He mentioned it that human activities like poaching, smuggling and the booming illegal trade in wild life products are eroding the Earth’s precious bio-diversity, driving entire species to the verge of extinction.
“Though wild life trade is rampant in almost all the parts of the world, yet there are some hot spots where the illegal trade flourishes. This includes Chi’s intertiol borders, trade hubs in East and Southern Africa, South-east Asia parts of Indonesia and the Solomon Islands.”
In the last segment, Professor Deb threw light on the role of the people and the government in protecting wild life and said that people should demand too much animal and plants products. Various laws must be enforced, different agencies must come forward and various intelligence agencies should be engaged in breaking the nexus between the crimils and terrorist networks behind the illegal trade of wild life. Tajas Mariswamy said, “People’s awareness is a must in this matter. If we stop demanding animal products and plant resources, then there would be less supply if these products. People also should inform the forest officials if they see any act of illegal activities in the market.
The discussion session ended with a vote of thanks offered by Bikramjit Das Gupta.