Dalbergia sissoo: India gets CITES rules eased for export of Shisham items

Source: The post is based on the following articles:

 “India gets CITES rules eased for export of Shisham itemspublished in TOI on 22nd November 2022.

Cites Cop-19: Huge Relief to Handicraft Exporters of Indiapublished in PIB on 21st November 2022.

What is the News?

India has got rules for the export of Shisham or North India Rosewood (Dalbergia Sissoo) eased under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES).

What is Dalbergia sissoo?

Dalbergia sissoo is commonly known as North Indian Rosewood or Shisham. It is a fast-growing, hardy, deciduous rosewood tree native to the Indian subcontinent and southern Iran. 

Distribution: It is native to the foothills of the Himalayas. It is primarily found growing along river banks.

Uses: It is used as firewood, timber, poles, posts, tool handles, fodder, erosion control and as a windbreak. Oil is extracted from the seed and tannin from the bark.

What is the CITES status of Dalbergia sissoo?

Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) is included in Appendix II of the convention, thereby requiring countries to follow CITES regulations for the trade of the species.

As of now every consignment of weight above 10 kg requires a CITES permit.

Impact of Restriction on India: In India, the species Dalbergia sissoo is found in abundance and is not treated as an endangered species. 

But due to the restriction, exports of furniture and handicrafts made of Dalbergia sissoo from India have been continuously falling from an estimated 1000 crore Indian Rupees per annum before the listing to 500-600 crore Indian Rupees (~64 to 77 million USD) per annum after the listing. 

The decrease in exports of Dalbergia sissoo products has affected the livelihoods of around 50,000 artisans who work with the species.

What happened at the 19th meeting of CITES?

India and other countries had asked for delisting Dalbergia sissoo from CITES Appendix II. However, CITES did not agree to de-list the species from Appendix II. But it gave relief in terms of the weight of each item.

This will solve the problem of Indian artisan communities to a great extent and will give a tremendous boost to exports of articles produced by them.

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