Tibetans burn wild animal skins in Tibet to encourage wildlife preservation

ICT, Friday, February 10, 2006 08:59
The Dalai Lama, who has long been concerned with the moral and economic implications of poaching endangered animals, spoke against the use of illegal animal furs at a ceremony in south India in January. Since then, Tibetans have been burning animal skins, thus decreasing demand for animal skins and driving down profits for smugglers. Many Tibetans have also chosen not to wear illegal fur garments during traditional festivals because “the Dalai Lama said he was ‘ashamed’ to see images of Tibetans decorating themselves with skins and furs” last month, and the belief that wearing fur contradicts Buddhism is becoming more widespread.
The Dalai Lama’s concern with conservation reaches far beyond his efforts within the last month. In April of last year, he teamed up with conservation organizations Care for the Wild International and the Wildlife Trust of India to prevent the smuggling of endangered animal furs into Tibet from Nepal and India. This problem has become increasingly worse in recent years with illegal leopard and tiger pelts readily available. Enforcement against the trade of animal products protected under CITES is difficult and has been largely neglected in Tibet, which makes the recent conservation efforts of the local population extremely important.
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Poacher Sansar Chand revealed Tibet, Nepal links: CBI

Belinda Wright, Executive Director
S-25 Panchsheel Park, New Delhi 110017, India

Monday February 6 2006 00:00 IST


On Friday, February 3, police in Delhi arrested Tibetan fur smuggler Neema Kampa, accomplice of the notorious poacher Sansar Chand. Chand was arrested in June, 2005, revealing that his illegal trade ring controls an estimated fifty percent of black market fur exports from India. Police even say every animal pelt that goes out of the country passes through the hands of his gang.


His influence spans beyond India; he has sold hundreds of leopard and tiger skins to international dealers, mostly from Nepal, that have passed through Tibet, making his trade network an international criminal activity. He allegedly accomplishes this by smuggling the skins in busses and as garments.


Chand’s Nepalese client and accomplice, Tashi Tshering (asias Chhewang), was arrested in December.


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is in the process of obtaining permission to either question Tshering in Kathmandu or obtain his interrogation report.




Nature Conservation Foundation Receives 2006 Distinguished Service Award

Each year, the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), the leading professional society for 
those seeking to conserve biological diversity and publisher of the internationally recognized 
journal Conservation Biology and the magazine Conservation In Practice, presents five 
Distinguished Service Awards to organizations and individuals who have made outstanding 
contributions to advancing the science and practice of conserving the Earth's biological 
diversity. The Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), the Snow Leopard Network’s 
partner in India, has been selected as a recipient of a 2006 Distinguished Service Award.
Only fifteen organizations have ever received this honor, and NCF is the only institution 
from India to ever have been selected. According to SCB, NCF was selected for “the 
extraordinary scientific rigor, focus and imagination its members have applied to affect 
sustainable conservation of a wide variety of habitats in India.”  
Although a relatively young organization, NCF has already greatly contributed to 
conservation efforts in India by capturing the attention of leading scientists, contributing 
to the region’s conservation workforce, and even discovering a new species. Congratulations
to NCF for receiving this well-deserved honor. 
For more information on the Distinguished Service Awards and a list of previous winners,