Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav on Friday said the natural resources dependent community is an important aspect of tiger conservation and the ‘people agenda’ ranks prominently in India’s ‘tiger agenda’.
“Approximately 4.3 million man-days of employment are being generated by 51 Tiger Reserves in India and funds from Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) are being utilized for promoting voluntary village resettlement from core areas of the Tiger Reserves,” the Minister said while speaking at the 4th Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation virtually.
The Conference is an important event for reviewing progress towards the Global Tiger Recovery Programme and commitments to tiger conservation.
India is one of the Founding members of the intergovernmental platform of Tiger Range Countries – Global Tiger Forum, and over the years, GTF has expanded its programme on multiple thematic areas while working closely with the Government of India, tiger states in India and tiger range countries.
Speaking on the frontline staff and community, the Minister said that our frontline staff constitutes an important pillar of tiger conservation and hence we have extended Rs 2 lakh life cover to each contractual/temporary worker under e-Sharm, a recent initiative of Ministry of Labour and Employment and Rs 5 lakh health cover under Ayushman Yojana.
“Tigers, the top predators in the ecosystem, are vital in regulating and perpetuating ecological processes. Ensuring the conservation of this top carnivore guarantees the wellbeing of forested ecosystems, the biodiversity they represent as well as water and climate security,” the Environment Minister said while putting forth India’s idea of tiger conservation.
Delivering the Country statement, Yadav congratulated the government of Malaysia and Global Tiger Forum (GTF) for organising the 4th Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation and appreciated the efforts of the Malaysian government in creating a role model for mitigation measures with respect to linear infrastructure in tiger habitat, in the form of ‘Central Spine and landscape level planning.’
The Minister said that India will facilitate Tiger Range Countries towards finalisation of the ‘New Delhi Declaration’ for the Global Tiger Summit to be held at Vladivostok, Russia later this year. It was in New Delhi in 2010 that the draft declaration on tiger conservation for Global Tiger Summit was issued.
Stating that India has achieved the remarkable feat of doubling the tiger population in 2018 itself, four years ahead of the targeted year 2022, Yadav informed that the model of success of India’s tiger governance is now being replicated for other wildlife like the Lion, Dolphin, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and other small wild cats, while the country is on the threshold of introducing Cheetah in its historical range.
The budgetary allocation for tiger conservation has increased from Rs 185 crore in 2014 to Rs 300 crore in 2022 and informed that 14 Tiger Reserves in India have already been awarded with international CA|TS accreditation and efforts are on to bring in more Tiger Reserves under CA|TS accreditation, a release from the Environment Ministry said.
Highlighting the rise in organised poaching driven by an international demand for tiger body parts and products, depletion of tiger prey and habitat loss as key challenges to tiger conservation, Yadav said that status of wild tiger continues to remain endangered world over and there are country-specific, area-specific issues, which also affect tigers and hence, the situation calls for active international cooperation as well as co adaptive and active management.