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Wildlife Crime Control Bureau: Safeguarding Biodiversity and Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade


Why in news?

‘Red Alert’ is issued by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau in which it is directing the authorities to visit all tiger reserves as around 2054 cases of illegal trafficking and wild animals got killing registered in India in the past three years.

What is WCCB (Wildlife Crime Control Bureau)?

  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is a statutory body of the Government that works under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is established by amending the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is established in 2008 by the Government of India.
  • Headquarter of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is at New Delhi.
  • WCCB has its five regional offices in India Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Jabalpur and New Delhi.
  • Three sub-regional offices are at Guwahati, Amritsar and Cochin.

Functions of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau:

Under 38(z) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been authorised for the following functions:

  • To collect and analyse information related to wildlife crimes and send the same to the State Government and the authorised agencies to arrest the criminals.
  • To set a centralized wildlife crime data bank.
  • To take coordinated action by the various agencies regarding the implementation of the provisions of the act.
  • To provide assistance to concerned foreign and International organizations for coordinated and collective action in Wildlife Crime Control.
  • To assist the State Government to take effective action against the wildlife crimes.
  • To advice the Government in making laws and policies for the wildlife crime control.
  • To assist the Custom Officers in the inspection of flora and fauna.

Working of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau:

  • Investigation at the crime scene: Forest Officers generally keep investigate the forest area and always carry check kits with them to investigate the crime area.
  • Interrogation of the accused: Officers record the confessional statement of accused within 6-8 hours of the arrest.
  • Every page of a confession should be signed by the accused without any physical threat.
  • Test of witness: Any officer who is below the rank of Assistant Conservator of forest is authorized to submit evidence documents. However, they may not record any heard evidence or the statement of a doctor.
  • Registering a complaint: Complaint is registered under section 55 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 with the relevant evidenced. Once the complaint is registered there is no scope for further investigation.

Achievements of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau:

  • In 2017: United Nations Environment Award.
  • In 2010: Chief Dave Cameron Award.
  • In 2010: Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award.

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