K.S. Sudhi

To concentrate on crime detection

Bureau in the process of recruiting officers

Stress on intelligence gathering

KOCHI: The Wildlife Kochi Regional Office of the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment has been amalgamated with the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB). With the amalgamation process, the regional office has been converted as the sub-regional office of the Bureau.

The Union Ministry is in the process of building up infrastructure facilities and recruiting officers to the WCCB. As the new system will be a multi-disciplinary unit, it will be mostly by deputation that officers for the new unit will be identified. Officials from the Police and Forest Departments will form a major chunk of the staff of the Bureau.

The Keralaunit is headed by V.K. Deekshit, who was serving as assistant director of the Wildlife Regional Office.

The Bureau will have jurisdiction over Kerala, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The office will be concentrate on wildlife crime detection with inter-State links and those taking place in the State.

The intelligence gathering on wildlife trade and related offences will also be part of the mandate of the WCCB.

A regional office of the Bureau will be located in Chennai and will have jurisdiction over Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

The officials of the Union Ministry for Forest and Environment said the process of setting up the Bureau would be completed by the year end.

According to officials, the mandateof the Bureau would be more or less similar to that of the Wildlife Regional Office. However, there will be increased stress on intelligence gathering.

Export policies

The Wildlife Regional Office has been implementing the exportpolicies that are framed from time to time. The monitoring and certification of wildlife products permitted under the Convention for International Treaty on Endangered Species is also one of the important mandates of the Wildlife Regional Office.

The important wildlife products that are being exported from Kochi include Ayurvedic preparations and medicinal plant products.

At the same time, consignments of shark body parts are reaching the State mostly from West Asia. These body parts are cleaned and the cartilages are exported to some European countries where they are used for medicinal and culinary purposes.