Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Bhupendra Yadav informed that October 5th is designated as National Dolphin Day to be celebrated every year as a historic step in creating awareness for conservation of Dolphins. Shri Yadav stated that generating awareness & community participation is integral for conservation of the indicator species. He chaired the 67th meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wild Life here today.
The Standing Committee discussed several important policy issues and the proposals for wildlife clearances forwarded by the State Governments and the Union Territory administrations.
Healthy aquatic ecosystems help in maintaining the overall health of the Planet. Dolphins act as ideal ecological indicators of a healthy aquatic ecosystem and conservation of the Dolphins will, therefore, benefit the survival of the species and also, the people dependent on the aquatic system for their livelihood. The Ministry has been taking up several activities for the protection and conservation of Dolphins and its habitats. Considering that generating awareness amongst the people on the benefits of conservation of Dolphins and participation of people in conservation efforts is imperative, the Standing Committee recommended that every year 5th of October shall be celebrated as National Dolphin Day.
The Standing Committee also considered 46 proposals for wildlife clearance and recommended several projects of public importance and essential for improving livelihood of local communities such as providing electricity in remote villages in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, drinking water supply to villagers in Karnataka. Projects of strategic importance such as road and border outpost in the Union Territory of Ladakh were also recommended during the meeting.
The Standing Committee recommended four proposals for construction of earthen dams in the State of Haryana to improve irrigation facilities. These dams will also recharge ground water in the Sanctuary which will benefit the wildlife habitat.
The Standing Committee also recommended road project under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in the State of Uttarakhand in order to provide connectivity to remote villages with appropriate animal passage structures.
A Project for harnessing the geothermal energy for power generation and other direct heat applications by drilling through rocks overlying the geothermal reservoir in Ladakh was also recommended in the meeting with appropriate mitigation measures.