The 77th meeting of the Standing Committee of CITES has excluded India from the Review of Significant Trade (RST) process for Red Sanders.
- India has been subject to the Review of Significant Trade (RST) process for Red Sanders since 2004.
- This development signifies recognition of India’s compliance and reporting.
What is the CITES RST Process?
- The CITES RST process allows for disciplinary action, such as trade suspensions, against countries that fail to meet their obligations.
- It involves heightened scrutiny of a country’s exports of a species to determine proper implementation of the Convention.
- The red sanders species was placed under the Review of Significant Trade (RST) process around 2004 due to the threats of illegal harvesting and smuggling leading to depletion from natural forests.
Red Sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus) is a tree with high-market value, endemic to a few districts in Andhra Pradesh.
- The species has been listed as Appendix II under CITES since 1994. However, red sanders wood sourced from artificial propagation (plantations) constitutes a significant portion of legal exports.
- The removal of the RTS process for red sanders is expected to benefit farmers cultivating red sanders, allowing them to increase their income through cultivation and export from plantations.
- This move aims to encourage farmers to plant more red sanders trees as a sustainable source of income.