Wildlife Crime Control Bureau to be set up in Tamil Nadu

Chennai will be the headquarters of the Bureau, while zonal offices will be in Coimbatore, Madurai and Ramanathapuram

November 09, 2021 12:59 pm | Updated 12:59 pm IST - CHENNAI

A wild elephant seen at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve. Photograph used for representational purposes only

A wild elephant seen at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve. Photograph used for representational purposes only

A Tamil Nadu Forest and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau will be set up with four offices in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, and Ramanathapuram, according to an order by Supriya Sahu, Secretary, Environment and Forests.

Forest and wildlife crimes not only adversely impact the diverse flora and fauna of a region, but also seriously impact the entire eco-system. Poaching and organised illegal wildlife trade have serious ramifications on the biodiversity and can lead to loss of rare species, thereby threatening sustainable and equitable growth, according to to the proposal sent by the Chief Wildlife Warden to the government.

Tamil Nadu is one of the richest biodiversity regions in lndia, and ranks first in India in floral biodiversity. With 15 wildlife sanctuaries, 15 bird sanctuaries, five tiger reserves, four elephant reserves, five national parks and three biosphere reserves, Tamil Nadu’s forest and wildlife wealth is unparalleled.

Considering the necessity to conserve the rich biodiversity of Tamil Nadu and prevent illegal forest and wildlife trade, the government had made an announcement on the floor of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on September 3, 2021, that a Forest and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau would be set up to detect and prevent organised forest and wildlife crimes at the State level.

The objectives would be to combat forest and wildlife crime through a well-designed institutional network of trained forest personnel; gather information related to wildlife crime and illegal trade including trans-boundary trade; coordinate with various national and international organisations to access information and intelligence with the view to reduce and control forest and wildlife crime.

Wildlife crime databank

It would also create a State-level forest and wildlife crime databank to assist investigating agencies, develop and implement various standard operating protocols relating to forest and wildlife crime, create a cadre of well-trained officials from among the government departments, improve investigation quality for better appreciation of evidence, contributing to better investigation and control of illegal wildlife trade and build informant networks among local communities that live in close proximity to forest and wildlife habitats

The Tamil Nadu Forest and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (TN FWCB) will be helpful to understand the latest trends and related models of forest and wildlife crime patterns, said Chief Wildlife Warden Shekhar Kumar Niraj.

The bureau would use required information technology practices and forest and wildlife crime information in conjunction with intelligence agencies such as the Customs, Revenue Intelligence, State Police and other State Forest Departments, he said, emphasising that this would help for better adaptation to changing crime and criminal practices in the current context. The headquarters of the Bureau would be at Chennai.

The government has sanctioned funds for preparing a detailed project report to take this forward.

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