New Delhi : Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav stated that the natural resources dependent community is an important aspect of tiger conservation and the ‘people agenda’ ranks prominently in India’s ‘tiger agenda’. The Minister was speaking at the 4th Asia Ministerial Conference on tiger conservation, an important event for reviewing progress towards the Global Tiger Recovery Programme and commitments to tiger conservation.
Yadav delivering the Country statement congratulated the Government of Malaysia and Global Tiger Forum (GTF) for organizing the 4th Asia Ministerial Conference on tiger conservation and appreciated the efforts of the Government of Malaysia 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 New Delhi declaration for the Global Tiger Summit to be held at Vladivostok, Russia later this year. A “Pre-Tiger Summit” meeting was held at New Delhi in 2010, wherein the draft declaration on tiger conservation for Global Tiger Summit was finalised.
Stating that India has achieved the remarkable feat of doubling the tiger population in 2018 itself, 4 years ahead of the targeted year 2022, Shri 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 Minister further informed that under the able leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi 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.
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.
“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.”, informed Shri Yadav
“Tigers, the top predators in 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.”, stated the Indian Environment Minister
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, Shri 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.
In India, tigers inhabit, a wide variety of habitats ranging from the high mountains, mangroves swamps, tall grasslands, to dry and moist deciduous forests, as well as evergreen forest systems. By virtue of this, tiger is not only a conservation icon but also it is as an umbrella species for majority of the ecosystem in the Indian sub-continent.
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.