Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav on Friday said the government has demonstrated its commitment to tiger conservation by increasing the number of tiger reserves from initial nine in 1973 to the current 52, the latest being Ramgarh Vishdhari in Rajasthan.
Yadav, who attended the Global Tiger Day 2022 celebrations held at Chandrapur Forest Academy in Maharashtra, congratulated all tiger range countries and commended India in particular for setting a benchmark in conservation for having and protecting more than 70% of the global tiger population.
The minister said the government is committed to the well-being of people, who inhabit these tiger-bearing landscapes through creation of various livelihood opportunities and interventions.
Yadav commended Maharashtra for implementing the unique Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Jan Van Vikas Yojana, which provides for schemes for the welfare of people living in and around tiger reserves which is worth emulating by other states.
He said an unbiased, independent, management effectiveness evaluation is conducted quadrennially to avoid complacency involving outside experts in wildlife conservation and also the All India Tiger Estimation once in four years and is currently being carried out for the fifth time.
Mentioning with pride that this unique exercise done in 2018 has entered the Guinness book of world record, Yadav emphasized on promoting low impact sustainable tourism in tiger reserves with maximization of visitor satisfaction and direct benefit sharing with locals.
He shared that India has taken up a high priority conservation project to bring back Cheetah which went extinct in 1952 by embarking on cheetah introduction programme, which is at an advanced stage of implementation.
Yadav added that bilateral agreement with Namibian government is already signed and the MoU with South Africa will be signed soon.
He appreciated all the field staff for the commitment shown for tiger conservation which has put the country in number one position globally.
Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ashwini Kumar Choubey, who was also present, stressed that tiger symbolises power and plays a crucial role in conservation of biodiversity, forest, water and climate security.
He stated it is a matter of great pride that India is a global leader in tiger conservation and is collaborating with countries like Cambodia, China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Russia for coming together for the cause of tiger conservation.
“We should imagine a future of peaceful co-existence of man, animal and nature,” he added.
The ministers, along with other delegates, visited Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) and appreciated the diversity of the landscape, its flora and fauna.
They also had informal interactions with the forest staff and tiger reserve management to understand the field level protection issues.
The declaration to celebrate Global Tiger Day was taken on July 29, 2010, at St Petersberg in order to bring all tiger range countries together for increased thrust on tiger conservation and management globally. This day is since then symbolically celebrated as Global Tiger Day.