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Red Sanders: India's Conservation and Trade Strategy



  Nov 21, 2023

Red Sanders Wood: India’s Trade and Conservation Efforts



Overview of Red Sanders Wood

Scientific Significance: Red Sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus), known as ‘Red Sandalwood’, is a unique tree endemic to Southern Eastern Ghats of India.

Ecological Footprint: Its distribution is limited, with specific numbers found in regions like Kadapa, Rajampet, Proddatur, and Chittoor East.

Harvesting Conditions: It thrives in dry climate, requires average temperatures (20-800 mm) and grows to about 27 years to reach harvestable size.

Global Usage and Trade

Uses: Red Sanders is utilized in traditional carving, furniture, musical instruments, and for coloring alcoholic beverages, food items, and pharmaceutical products.

International Trade: After nearly two decades, India has exited the international negative list, allowing legal trade from plantations.

International Policies and India’s Role

CITES and India: India has worked in line with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to move the trading of Red Sanders from negative lists, allowing for its sustainable trade.

Conservation Efforts: Efforts include the establishment of plantations, scientific management, and protection against illegal exploitation.

Recent Developments

CITES Delisting: India’s Red Sanders wood has been removed from Appendix II of CITES, recognizing sustainable management and legal trade practices.

Growth and Allocation: India has seen an increase in plantations and has allocated specific quotas for export, emphasizing sustainable trade.

Challenges and Measures

Illegal Activities: Despite conservation efforts, challenges like illegal logging persist, requiring continuous vigilance and enforcement.

Government Initiatives: The government has implemented measures to regulate harvesting, protect biodiversity, and support the livelihood of farmers who grow Red Sanders.

India’s approach to Red Sanders combines rigorous conservation practices with strategic trade measures, aiming to balance economic benefits with ecological sustainability.


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