On 12th April 2016, Indian Prime Minister inaugurated 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation in Delhi. Ministers from Tiger Range Countries including Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Nepal, Malaysia, Russian Federation, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, besides, Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan, having ranges of Snow Leopard, Environment, Forest & Climate change, Agriculture & Forests, and Royal Government of Bhutan and Chairman, Global Tiger Forum were also present there.

There were more than 700 participants, including Scientists, Tier Experts, Donors, Managers, Stakeholders to discuss the issues related to tiger conservation like tiger reintroduction, resource mobilization and networking, modern tools and technology for monitoring, anti-poaching strategy, monitoring protocols, MEE and CA|TS. PM Modi mentioned tiger as an apex consumer in the food chain and ecological pyramid that needs an adequate support of the environment and forests. Ecosystem and Ecological Services are equally important for the wellbeing of human beings and by protecting the tigers, we can support the both in an effective manner.


PM Modi said that the main reason of ecosystem destruction and the shrinkage of natural habitats is our need and greed. One of the major threats to tigers is the demand of body parts and its derivatives which are used for various purposes.  It has been observed that the tiger habitats have reduced across the TRCs and in our country, we are also facing the challenges of disruption of ecosystems and poaching. This is because the wildlife and forest are the open treasures that cannot be secured for so long. For this critical concern, we have to plan and work together so that we can protect our environment in better ways.

In our country, we cannot mention tiger as a wild animal. According to mythology, the Mother Goddess is portrayed sitting on a tiger. Along with this, our Gods and Goddesses have major concerns with the animals, trees and rivers. In India, Tiger is a national animal. Similarly, Tiger Range Countries have cultural legacy associated with the tigers.

PM Modi stated that we cannot evaluate the benefits of tiger conservation in the economic terms. Moreover, it will be very difficult to describe a price tag on the nature. Nature has allowed them for its own conservation and it is the responsibility of all the citizens to protect the nature in effective ways. Wildlife and forests are complementary and thus inseparable. The destruction of one leaves great impact on the other. Moreover, this is also the major cause of Climate Change which is affecting our life in many ways. For that, we all should take initiatives and work together for specific mitigation strategies.

While addressing the public meet there, PM Modi recalled the words of Gautama Buddha- “The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness. It affords protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axe-man who destroys it.”

According to him, the natural capital, which denotes the natural ecosystem stock should be treated at par with the capital goods. Along with this, we should consider economy as the subset of the larger economy of the natural habitat and ecosystem. With this, we can effectively protect our environment and nature. He said that we all should consider the ecosystem values of the tiger conservation as the Natural Capital.

Shri Narendra Modi also laid focus on the studies for conserving the tiger and ecosystem. With this, we will be able to target the factors of ecosystem value in the economic arithmetic of growth and development.

In India, we have religious concerns with the nature- Plants, Trees, Forest, Animals, Rivers, Sun and Moon. For all of us, the Earth is our mother that has provided amenities for our survival and shelter. It has been written in our

scriptures that we should treat the entire universe as one.

 

The Famous Sanskrit Shlokas –

“वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम” and “लोकः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु”

It means- The world is like one family and we should support prevail of love over hate.

 “ॐ द्यौः शांति, रंतरिक्ष शांति, पृथवी शांति, राप: शांति, रोषधयः शांति, वनस्पतयः शांति”

It means- We all pray for the prosperity and peace including our ecosystem.

 

The conservation of natural habitats will ensure good future and healthy life for ourselves as well as our future generation. Moreover, we will be able to maintain a perfect balance between human and wildlife and overcome the challenges of climate change.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi also mentioned the efforts that have been taken to maintain a successful track order of tiger’s protection. In 1973, we started “Project Tiger” and it has covered the initial 9 tiger reserves to 49 at present. According to him, tiger conservation is an equal responsibility of the state as well as central government. He appreciated the cultural legacy that has encouraged the co-existence and compassion and played an important role in the success of Project Tiger. The collective efforts and landmark initiatives of National Tiger Conservation Authority have executed great results and due to which there is significant rise of 30% in the number of tiger. According to the statistics, it has increased from 1706 in 2010 to 2226 in 2014.

He also mentioned that our country is a founder member of the Global Tiger Forum and we are also working along with the Global Tiger Initiative Council. Our government is ready to support the capital building of wildlife personnel at the Wildlife Institute of India. Moreover, we are also planning to move forward with the “South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network.”  We are also committed to work with the initiatives of TRCs for the environment protection and tiger conservation.

In order to protect the wildlife, we have been implementing technology and intelligence modes like infrared and thermal cameras that will operate 24*7 for surveillance against poaching in the sensitive tiger reserves. Along with this, many protocols for monitoring and smart patrolling have been evolved with the radio telemetry and maintenance of tiger camera trap photo database. Moreover, we have also increased the budget for this mission from Rs. 185 Crores to Rs. 380 Crores.

He appreciated the efforts of Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) for tiger conservation through programs like Global Tiger Initiative and “Global Tiger Recovery Programme”. He praised the efforts of Mr. Vladimir Putin for organizing Tiger Summit in 2010 and initiatives of Mr. Dorji.

PM Modi said that we should re-orient the strategies for integrating the tiger and wildlife in various infrastructures at the landscape level. It has taken us to “Smart Green Infrastructure” by adopting the landscape approach which help us to involve business groups through the corporate responsibility for different initiatives and plans for tiger conservation.

Contributor: Sunpreet Kaur

 

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