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PUNE: To ensure better protection of the wildlife, and critically-endangered species and habitats in and outside protected areas, the centrally-sponsored scheme, ‘Assistance for the Development of National Parks and Sanctuaries’ has been modified during the 11th five-year plan period to address the new generation issues facing wildlife conservation.

The scheme has now been named as the ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats,’ and has been made operational by adding more components and activities and widening the scope of conservation interventions.

The activities to be supported under the scheme include management planning and capacity building, anti-poaching and infrastructure development, restoration of habitats, eco-development and community oriented activities.

According to experts, wildlife conservation in India still faces several challenges like fragmented wildlife areas, increased human pressure, habitat degradation. proliferation of invasive species, man-made conflicts, poaching and impacts of climate change. There is an explicit need for ensuring better protection of wildlife outside the protected areas and initiating recovery programmes to save critically-endangered species and their habitats.

Ashish Kothari national committee member of the Forest Rights Act, constituted by the ministry of environment and forests, told TOI that the scheme will help in protection of wildlife outside the protected area and focus on smaller endangered species and habitats.

He pointed out that good intentions are needed and it should happen with full community involvement.

During the 11th plan period, more protected areas, including conservation reserves and community reserves shall be brought under the ambit of the scheme. More and more such areas shall be brought under proper management planning. The 11th plan shall also see better protection of highly-endangered and flagship species like Snow Leopard, Great Indian Bustard, Hangul, marine turtles, Nilgiri Tahr, by adopting the strategy of special species or habitat recovery programmes.

The Union government has been providing financial and technical assistance to the state governments for activities aimed at wildlife conservation through various centrally sponsored schemes. It is expected that during the 11th plan, the protected area network in the country shall continue to grow by integrating more ecosystems in various bio-geographical zones. At the end of the 10th plan, only 341 (excluding tiger reserves) out of 661 protected areas could be brought under the ambit of the scheme.

The state governments have to submit annual plan of operations to the Union government detailing the proposed course of action. This will be scrutinised and has to be approved by the Union government.
COURTESY :
Read more: Central wildlife scheme modified to address new generation issues – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Central-wildlife-scheme-modified-to-address-new-generation-issues/articleshow/7490035.cms#ixzz1E0Kjpo7Y

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