Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav jovially announced India's remarkable feat of doubling its tiger population four years ahead of target in 2018 itself and is now replicating the model of success with other animals such as lions, snow leopards and dolphins
Speaking at the 4th Asia Ministerial Conference to review the progress of the Global Tiger Recovery Programme and commitments to tiger conservation, the minister said the budgetary allocation for tiger conservation has increased from Rs 185 crore in 2014 to Rs 300 crore in 2022 under the Narendra Modi government.
He said the natural resources-dependent community is an important aspect of India's successful tiger conservation efforts and the "people agenda" ranks prominently in it.
Yadav said the frontline staff constitutes an important pillar of tiger conservation, hence India has extended life cover of Rs 2 lakh to each contractual/temporary worker under e-Sharm, an initiative of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Rs 5 lakh health cover under Ayushman Yojana.
"Approximately 4.3 million man-days of employment are being generated by 51 tiger reserves in India and funds from Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority are being utilised for promoting voluntary village resettlement from core areas of the tiger reserves," a statement quoted the minister as saying.
He said this successful model of tiger conservation is now being replicated with other animals such as lion, dolphin, leopard and snow leopard and the country is on the threshold of introducing cheetah in its historical range.
Highlighting the rise in organised poaching driven by an international demand for tiger body parts and products, depletion of tiger prey and habitat loss as key challenges to tiger conservation, Yadav said the status of tiger continues to remain endangered the world over and there are country-specific, area-specific issues which also affect the feline and hence, the situation calls for active international cooperation as well as co-adaptive and active management.
India is one of the founding members of the intergovernmental platform of Tiger Range Countries – Global Tiger Forum, and over the years, GTF has expanded its programme on multiple thematic areas, while working closely with the Government of India, tiger states in India and tiger range countries.
( With PTI Inputs)