The central government released India’s third wildlife action plan, to chalk out India’s strategy for wildlife conservation in the next fifteen years. The first wildlife action plan was unveiled in 1983 and the second in 2002. Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan released the document on the inaugural day of the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference on October 2. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has only released basic points of the plan. There are 103 conservation actions and 250 projects in the final plan, of which seven conservation actions and 11 projects relate to climate change. This is the first wildlife action plan which incorporates and talks about the effects of climate change on wildlife. The first two were designed when there was no conversation about climate change or the adverse consequences it had.
This plan was drafted by a 12-member committee chaired by JC Kala, a former secretary to the ministry. The plan adopts a “landscape approach” to the conservation of all wildlife that has an ecological value. The plan gives a special importance to the threatened species. It focuses on protecting their habitats and gives them the possible attention.
The central government and state government will release funds for the maintenance of national parks and sanctuaries in the state. At present, the protected area network comprises 92 national parks and 500 sanctuaries covering an area of 15.67 million hectares. This time there will also be funding for the health management and excessive control on poaching. Now, the strategies would be based on the landscape of the region that may not be limited to a reserve forest system alone. The ministry claims to have used all the knowledge they gained in the past decades in the formation of this plan. It is the most modern plan the government has ever rolled out. Apart from the state funding, corporate houses are being encouraged to take up the projects under this plan as their corporate social responsibility.
Animal welfare does not qualify as a separate category in the Companies Act, 2013. Many of the companies, however, have shown interest in this field. There are a lot of non-government organisations working for this cause, like People For Animals, World Wildlife Fund, and PAWS. A lot of corporate houses collaborate with these and help their projects with funds. This policy is a major step in the direction of conservation of our wildlife.
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The CSR Journal Team