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Thread: MOEF to Declare Elephant as National Heritage Animal

  1. #1
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    Default MOEF to Declare Elephant as National Heritage Animal

    Dear All,
    Sharing a press release issued by PIB regarding declaration of elephant as National Heritage.
    Mrudul

    MOEF to Declare Elephant as National Heritage Animal

    The Ministry of Environment and Forests will declare elephant as a National Heritage Animal. The Ministry will also set up National Elephant Conservation Authority to give same degree of visibility, importance and criticality as much as given to National Tiger Conservation Authority. After releasing the Report of the Elephant Task Force here today, Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests (I/c) said we will bring a science based exercise in protecting and census of this animal. Shri Ramesh appreciated the way the Task Force has addressed the main concerns of the issue. They include elephant corridors in context of mining, power and irrigation projects, of protection of elephant corridors, elephant in captivity, institutional changes in order to put elephant conservation on high, sound footing and give same degree of visibility as Project Tiger gets.

    The Minister also welcomes the suggestion to organize an International Elephant Conference in 2011. Referring to damage to crops and plantations in various states, he said the identification of high conflict areas between man and animal will help in early conflict management work. He added, “ Two agencies, Railways and Power Grid Corporation will play an important role in halting damage to elephants.”

    A specialized task force was set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the Chairmanship of Dr Mahesh Rangarajan to address the problems related to the Asian elephant. Presenting the Report Dr Rangarajan said the elephant must be given its due pride of place. The National Heritage Animal status would be a befitting thinng to this because it unifies both culture and ecology. Survival of animal depends on partnership with people. An education and outreach programme called ‘Gaja to Praja’ is required to educate peopleto save elephants.”

    The Task Force recommends a new system of assessment at three tiers. Crisis of elephant is not a crisis of extinction but a crisis of attrition. The crisis has to be looked into the conservation of habitat. Rationalise the boundaries after proper biological assessment, prioritize corridors out of 88 cirridors, immidiate implementation in 26 corridors which has vital feasibility, 50 years Perspective Plans instead of five year management planasas this is a long lived species, inclusion of people who are knowledge bearers outside the government are few suggestions that the Task Force has made.The task force stresses that the animal should be monitored on an age-sex classification. An age-sex classification is necessary as there is a low male-female sex ratio of elephants in the wild. It also adds that reserves and corridors should be protected from developmental projects, and special attention should be paid to the conflict between humans and elephants as almost 400 people are killed protecting the cops every year from human-elephant conflict in India.

    About 400 human beings are killed per year by this animal and fifty-thousand people suffer due to them. India has some 3500 animals in captivity.

    KP

    The source article can be found here: http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=65467
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    An excellent move.

    Dr. Mahesh Rangarajan is a renowned wildlife historian. Elephants deserve high degree of protection.

    Elephant conservation is a much more complicated affair than tiger conservation for it requires huge space and involve in direct conflict with man. Portraying elephants as an acceptable animal to a farmer living in the fringes of the elephant country is very difficult these days. Yet, our country very fortunately revere elephants as living incarnation of Lord Ganesh and worship them. Moreever, unlike Africa, elephant meat is not consumed here.

    The initial focus of the task force should ideally be in Eastern states of Orissa, W.Bengal and parts of Bihar where elephants suffer the most due to habitat loss and poaching.

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    Default Useless Exercise

    This is waste of time and an useless exercise. Am sure there will be ways to allocate funds and spend them under this project.

    Look at our Tiger. Its our National Animal. What has helped the tiger inspite of it enjoying this status??

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    Default Report pdf download link

    The entire report can be downloaded from this link: http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-...PORT_FINAL.pdf

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    I think this is a good move.If elephants can be protected and saved for the future generation with this declaration,lets welcome it.

    One can understand the frustration echoed by Tiger Ramesh.

    But may be tigers are at least in the present situation because of the special status given to them.Without that they might have been in a much worse situation!

    Lets not get too much bogged down by our failures.The new ventures can become successful with concerted efforts.Politics and corruption may be always there.But lets not lose heart and plan for newer conservation efforts so that whatever remaining in our wilds takes their legacy forward for many number of years......

    Regards

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    While Mr Sankar's points are valid, all I am trying to tell is that these things are not needed unless we want to spend money unnecessarily.

    Our wildlife protection act is very powerful. Elephants and Tigers are on Schedule 1. They have maximum protection under this Act. All we have to do is to get the various state forest departments to implement the Act. The Act also has powers to declare new PAs (NPs and Sanctuaries) so that we can even address the corridor issues.

    It has become a habit to form such bodies and include various cronies as members and fund their travel and expenses. Instead we should focus on paying the salaries of forest guards on time.

    Look at some of the member profiles of the ETF committee. I atleast know of one person who is absolutely useless and will not be able to answer even few basic simple questions on the elephant.

    Look at what happened to the Tiger Task Force report which was published few years back and submitted to the Hon'ble PM.

    We spend tax payers money on such initiatives to keep various lobbies and individuals happy so that they can go around saying they are members of such committees and in the process do not create any headaches for MoEF or other forest departments. Some persons use this as an opportunity to enhance their profiles so that they can raise more monies for the NGOs they run and subsequently fund their lifestyles.

    The creation of such "committees of cronies" must stop.

    In this case the silent sufferer will be the Elephant.

    Look at my other posts on Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka, on Indiawilds. What has happened? Authorities have allowed a fishing/angling resort right inside a critical elephant habitat violating the WP Act and orders of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. I have been fighting this matter in CEC (body appointed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India). The matter is still open and is not closed. Whats the point in forming ETF? The Director of Project Elephant, MoEF has not even bothered to reply to this issue till date inspite of sending a legal notice!!

    Lord Ganesha must save our Elephants.

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    The biggest obstacle to conservation is our apathy towards the cause. Finding conservators has become similar to the effort of diamond mining nowadays You dig a ton of dirt to find one true diamond...

    The only long term solution for true conservation in India is awareness. These projects - though high on symbolism and cost (sic) do create that positive ripple in our collective conscience. Perhaps we could resonate that ripple so that it reaches a larger audience.

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    Default PMO shoots down proposal for National Elephant Conservation Authority

    Dear All,
    Sharing an important news article from Times of India. The Prime Minister's office has shot down the proposal of the MoEF to create a separate body for protection of elephants in the line of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. This move was based on the report of the Task Force for Elephants.

    The present UPA Government is over enthusiastic in giving clearances to mining areas and the proposed National Elephant Conservation Authority would have come as a thorn in the flesh for them in terms of clearing such mining areas.

    One of the major suggestion in the task force report was to recreate corridors for elephants to pass between various wilderness areas. Unfortunately, there is neither any significant allocation of funds towards this move. With the proposal for creating the autonomous authority shot down, the emphasis on the elephant will no longer be there.

    With such attitude, the elephant looks to be clearly on the path of extermination in most of the areas in India.
    Sabyasachi


    PMO says no to national body to save elephants
    Nitin Sethi, May 6, 2011, 03.55am IST
    NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister's Office has shot down a proposal to set up a National Elephant Conservation Authority along the lines of one existing for tigers.

    The environment ministry had recommended an amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act creating a powerful autonomous authority for the pachyderm. The authority was intended to create a network of elephant reserves which could be kept free of mining and other harmful industrial activities.

    The move had been made based on recommendations of an expert Elephant Task Force set up by the environment ministry to study the threats to the animal and advise on how to conserve it.

    But the proposal has been shot down at the highest level even before it could reach the cabinet.

    The habitat of the animal that environment minister Jairam Ramesh has said is facing 'a story of attrition' is especially threatened by mining in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. In the recent past, the ministry has had to contend with several controversial proposals that deal a body blow to elephant conservation. But it's been constrained by the lack of legal teeth to protect the animal or a single official authority that can steer conservation needs for the animal.

    With mining proposals pouring in from the two states and the tussle between environment ministry and coal and power ministries on to open up more forest areas for mining the move to scrap the proposal for the elephant authority is bound to weigh in favour of the mining industry.

    Elephant reserves exist even today but they are only a demarcation on the map to provide funds under Project Elephant, just as it happened earlier for tiger reserves. The reserves have no legal validity and this makes it difficult to protect the elephant-bearing forests and lands against changes that would harm the pachyderm. The existing networks of national parks and sanctuaries do not serve to protect the elephant as the animal migrates and travels over long distances cutting across inhabited areas as well as forests.

    The authority was expected to demarcate areas including forests that are important for elephant conservation and become a single window for advising on changes on these land patches just as the National Tiger Conservation Authority does for tiger reserves at the moment.

    The link to the source article can be found here: http://articles.timesofindia.indiati...ant-task-force

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