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Tiger, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

Government Of India - Initiatives

The conservation endeavours in India have been primarily focused on saving tigers, which is one of the key wildlife species in the faunal web. The major threats to tiger population are numerous, such as poaching for trade, shrinking habitat, depletion of prey base species, growing human population etc. The trade of tiger skins and the use of their bones in traditional medicines especially in the Asian countries left the tiger population on the verge of extinction. Since India and Nepal, provide habitat to about two-thirds of the surviving tiger population in the world, these two nations became prime targets for poaching and illegal trading.

Wildlife Division in the Ministry is responsible for carrying out the activities pertaining to Wildlife conservation with the State Governments and to provide financial and technical assistance to them for scientific management of the wildlife resources in the country.

It is also responsible for carrying out the events associated with wildlife research and training of personnel involved in wildlife management through Wildlife Institute of India. Presently Wildlife Division is headed by the Addl. Director General of Forests (Wildlife) who is also Director, Wildlife Preservation and the Management Authority of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

Indian Board For Wildlife (IBWL):
Indian Board For Wildlife The IBWL is the top notch advisory body in the field of Wildlife Conservation in the country and is headed by the Honorable Prime Minister of India. The IBWL has been reconstituted w.e.f. 7.12.2001. The XXI meeting of the IBWL was held on 21.1.2002 under the Chairmanship of the Honorable Prime Minister of India at New Delhi.

Following resolutions were adopted by the Board:

Wildlife and forests shall be declared a priority sector at the national level for which funds should be distinguished and earmarked.

Law enforcement agencies should ensure that those involved in poaching, illicit trade in wildlife and wildlife products, destruction of their habitat, and such other illegal activities are given quick and deterrent punishment.

All efforts should fully tap the potential in wildlife tourism and at the same time take care that it does not have adverse impact in wildlife and protected areas. The revenue earned from increased tourism should be used entirely to augment available resources for conservation.

Indian Tiger Protecting interests of the poor and tribals living around protected areas should be handled with sensitivity and with maximum participation of the affected people. They should have access to the minor forest produce, in the forest outside of national parks and sanctuaries. Employment and means generation for these people is crucial for maintaining symbiosis between the forests, wildlife and the people. People should be encouraged to take up afforestation and conservation in new areas.

While strengthening protective measures against traditional threats to wildlife, we should also respond to newer threats such as toxic chemicals and pesticides.

There should be greater governmental as well as societal recognition and support for the many non-governmental organisations engaged in wildlife conservation. Mainstream media to better highlight their activities as also successess of governmental initiatives that have worked.

Innovatively produced Television Programmes on wildlife and ecology are widely appreciated by young and old as seen from the popularity of dedicated T.V. channels like Discovery, National Geographic and Animal Planet. It is proposed that Prasar Bharati and our private channels alongwith with agencies like WWF for Nature should collaborate and increase original Indian content in different languages on our television.

No diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes from critical and ecologically fragile wildlife habitat shall be allowed.
Indian Tiger
Lands falling within 10 km. of the boundaries of National Parks and Sanctuaries should be notified as eco-fragile zones under section 3(v) of the Environment (Protection) Act and Rule 5 Sub-rule 5(viii) & (x) of the Environment (Protection) Rules.

Removal of encroachments and illegal activities from within forest lands and Protected Areas.

No commercial mono-culture to replace natural forests.

The settlement of rights in National Parks and Sanctuaries should not be used to exclude or reduced the areas that are crucial and integral part of the wildlife habitat.

More than 2000 vacant posts in the frontline staff of Protected Areas shall be filled immediately and provided basic infrastructure for efficient discharge of duties. Ban on recruitment of staff against vacant post should be lifted on lines with the Police Department. Innovative initiative such as redeployment of surplus employees in other departments, hiring local people on voluntary or honorarium basis, raising donations from business houses and other members of the public in return for a greater role for them in implementing programme need to be explored.

Every protected area should be managed by forest officers trained in wildlife management.

Mitigation measures for human-animal conflict and mechanism for crop insurance as also expeditious disbursements of ex-gratia payments, should be instituted by States.

Indian TigerForest Commission should be set up to look into restructuring, reform and strengthening the entire forest set up and affiliated institutions in the country.

A working group shall be constituted to monitor implementation of Wildlife Action Plan.

Most importantly let us all resolve that we should end the relative neglect of wildlife conservation in recent year. To begin with Board should meet more often. Wildlife conservation is too important a task to be treated lightly or ritualistically.

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