2921. SHRI LAL SINH VADODIA:
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:
(a) whether it is a fact that Government is seriously considering about security of wild animals;
(b) if so, whether Government is planning to take any concrete step for their security; and
(c) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?
MINISTER OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE (SHRI ANIL MADHAV DAVE)
(a), (b) and (c) Management of wildlife is the responsibility of the respective State/UT Governments. The Government has been taking adequate steps to secure wildlife and its habitats. The important steps taken to protect wildlife include:
i) Legal protection to wild animals against hunting and commercial exploitation under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
ii) Creation of Protected Areas, viz., National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Tiger reserves, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves covering important wildlife habitats all over the country under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to conserve wild animals and their habitats.
iii) Nation-wide launching of special programmes like ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ for conservation of species like Tigers and Elephants.
iv) Launching of a specific component of “Recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and their habitats’ under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (IDWH)’ for focused conservation action on selected 16 critically endangered species.
v) In addition to provision of stringent punishment for the offenders, the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 also provides for forfeiture of any equipment, vehicle or weapon that is used for committing wildlife offence(s).
vi) Provision of providing Financial and technical assistance to the State/ Union Territory Governments under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes for providing better protection to wildlife species and improvement of their habitats.
vii) Empowerment of ‘Central Bureau of Investigation’ (CBI) under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to apprehend and prosecute wildlife offenders.
viii) Setting up of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) to ensure co-ordination among various officers and State Governments in connection with the enforcement of law for control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and its products.