The Sindh High Court has called comments from the ministry of climate change, inspector general of its wildlife conservation and forest departments, Sindh wildlife conservation and Customs exports departments for allegedly not issuing licence to a private farmer for commercial export of wildlife species.
Abdul Raheem had taken them to the court for not providing a license to his company, M/s Raheem International, to export wildlife reptiles and mammals on commercial basis.
His lawyer, Sarfaraz Khan Jatoi, said that the petitioner’s firm was engaged in the export of live birds and mammals. In 1994, Abdul Raheem started captive breeding of the reptiles for which he had invested a large amount of money and also acquired expertise from various people in the country and abroad.
The same year, the petitioner had consulted the deputy-director of the climate change department’s wildlife conservation department, who had asked the petitioner to furnish a feasibility regarding establishment of a farm for conservation of the live birds, mammals, reptiles, endemic birds on commercial basis for export by importing their hocks from abroad.
After the deputy-director assured Raheem of support, the petitioner established a farm for conservation of the wildlife species that included beautiful reptiles Eublepharis macularius fasciolatus (leopard Gecko adult), lessor wonder gecko adult, agamura persica and teratolepis fasciata viper gecko.
The petitioner kept these species in a natural environment by providing required food at the farm which had all the necessary facilities of captivity for commercial breeding. The lawyer stated that Raheem also made various requests to the National Council for Conservation of Wildlife to inspect his farm which was a requirement for issuance of commercial export permit, but he got no response.
In 2000 the commercial export of wildlife species was included in the Trade Policy 2000-01 by the then government, allowing export of those species prescribed in the Conservation on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The lawyer alleged that while the ministry had issued a no objection certificate (NoC) to some individuals for commercial export of wildlife species, the petitioner was not being issued the NoC due to which he was suffering financial losses.
He asked the court to direct the climate change ministry to issue an NoC to the petitioner’s firm to commercially export live birds and mammal for breeding.
Headed by Justice Ghulam Sarwar Korai, the bench issued notice to the ministry of climate change, inspector general of its wildlife conservation and forest departments, Sindh wildlife conservation and Customs exports departments to file their comments by the next date of hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2013.