India has been awarded a certificate of commendation for its effort to combat illegal wildlife trade by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said the award was given to the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) under the Ministry on November 30 by the Secretary General of CITES in Geneva.
Currently, 183 countries are signatory to the CITES.
Mr. Vardhan said the award was given to WCCB for its efforts in conducting and coordinating a species-specific wildlife enforcement operation, codenamed ‘Operation Save Kurma’.
The operation was conducted to combat the proliferating illegal trade of live turtles and its parts from the country to destinations abroad. During the operation conducted from December 15, 2016 to January 30, 2017, approximately 16,000 live turtles and tortoises were seized and released back into the wild.
Mr. Vardhan said 55 suspects involved in the illegal trade were also arrested.
Source: The Hindu