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October 06, 2012

Govt Will Ensure Animal Corridors Are Made Legal Entities Environment Minister


06 October 2012

New Delhi: Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister for Environment & Forests, Government of India, recently said that the government will take necessary steps to ensure that animal corridors in the country are made legal entities so that wildlife protection laws are legally enforceable. She said that wildlife protection is a high-priority area for the government, and that the Centre would make ensure local communities living around the sanctuaries are part of the conservation effort. The Minister was delivering a key note address to commemorate the Wildlife Week and review meeting of the Phase IV monitoring of the Tiger Reserves.

Natarajan noted that wildlife conservation requires synergy among the Centre, state, and the civil society. She said that India has a very good track record in wildlife conservation both in situ and ex situ, and currently, five per cent of the total geographical area of the country is protected. Commenting specifically on tiger conservation, the Minister said that Project Tiger had added new areas since its inception in 1973, and that the number of Tiger Reserves had gone up from nine to 41 in 17 states in the country in the last four decades.

The Minister also noted that wildlife protection would be ineffective without support from the local people. The Central government is looking at deploying local people wherever possible in conservation activities, and is providing financial assistance to states for the same, she noted