Published 7 November 2009


“Don’t Buy Trouble” film wins CMS Vatavaran Award

Delhi, India, 7th November 2009—TRAFFIC India’s film “Don’t Buy Trouble” has received an award at the CMS Vatavaran Environment and Wildlife Film festival held in New Delhi this October.

The award was in the “Best Public Service Announcement” (PSA) category, which includes messages, short or promotional films, commercials or advertising campaigns that educate or inform the public at large. 

This film is part of TRAFFIC India’s campaign to curb illegal trade in wildlife. A one minute version of the film captures glimpses of the burgeoning illegal wildlife trade in India that threatens the nation’s precious flora and fauna, and is the latest addition to TRAFFIC India’s consumer awareness “Buyers Beware” campaign. 

It is anticipated that the film will be shown in airports and other locations where tourists gather. 
Besides highlighting the gruesome reality for many species in illegal trade, the film also draws attention to the various national and international laws that protect wildlife and informs viewers about the legal consequences of engaging in such trade.

Targeted mainly at domestic and foreign tourists, the film sends out a clear message that it is not only poachers and traders who fuel illegal wildlife trade, but also those who purchase and use such products. 

“The end consumer is as much a partner in wildlife crime as the trader or the poacher,” sais Samir Sinha, Head of TRAFFIC India.

If found guilty, offenders are liable to hefty fines and up to seven years of imprisonment. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. 

“In recent years, illegal wildlife trade has become an international, organized criminal activity that can only be curbed through action at the grassroot-level as well as international co-operation and collaboration at the highest levels.

“Equally important is the need to sensitise potential buyers about the dangers of buying illegal wildlife goods, and this film as part of TRAFFIC India’s awareness campaign that aims to make buyers beware they could be buying trouble,” he added.

The film was shot by renowned wildlife filmmaker Himanshu Malhotra and was produced by TRAFFIC India/WWF-India.

In October 2007, TRAFFIC India launched a Consumer Awareness Campaign with the release of the leaflet, Are you committing a Crime? Think before you buy, followed by a release of four posters in February 2008 on shahtoosh shawls, reptile skins, marine products and ivory. These can be downloaded at or 

The CMS Vatavaran Environment and Wildlife Film festival has been held annually since 2002. This year a total of 366 film were entered for the festival, 90 of them international and 276 of them national film entries. A total of 25 awards were made, in 15 Indian categories and 10 awards in nine international categories.

CMS Vatavaran is a visionary initiative of CMS, an independent Delhi-based, pan-India, multidisciplinary organization. For over two decades, CMS has been engaged in research, policy advocacy, advisory services and programme evaluation in the domains of environment, social issues, public health, governance, development communications and transparency.  

FilmDon’t Buy Trouble
Producer: TRAFFIC India| Editor: Sabina Kidwai Narrator: Jatin Ram Prakash | Scriptwriter: Sabina Kidwai and Samir Sinha | Camera: Himanshu Malhotra | Technical inputs: Khalid Pasha and Dilpreet Chhabra.