[Biosphere Reserves, Wetlands, Mangroves, Coral Reefs, Bio-diversity, Bio-safety Protocol, Biodiversity Legislation, Capacity Building in Taxonomy, Assistance to Botanic Gardens, Medical Plants, Desertification, Forest Conservation, Regional Offices, National Forestry Action Programme, JFM, Wildlife Conservation, Project Tiger, Project Elephant, Central Zoo Authority, National Zoological Park]
In order to address the problems of environment and development in its totality and to consider several cross sectoral issues having direct bearing on conservation as well as sustainable uses of natural resources including forestry and wildlife. Several policy instruments have been enunciated and various action programmes have been introduced by the Ministry.
Biosphere Reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems which are internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCOs Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme. These reserves are required to meet a minimal set of criteria and adhere to a minimal set of conditions before being admitted to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves recognised by UNESCO. These reserves are rich in biodiversity and cultural heritage and encompass unique ecosystems which are representative of major biogeographic zones of the world. The goal is to facilitate conservation of representative landscapes and their immense biological diversity and cultural heritage, foster economic and human development which is culturally and ecologically sustainable and to provide support for research, monitoring, education and information exchange. The programme is a pioneering effort at pursuing the increasingly difficult yet urgent task of conserving ecological diversity under mounting pressures.
The twelve Biosphere Reserves set up in the country so far not only aim to protect representative ecosystems, but also serve as laboratories for evolving alternative models of development. The Ministry provided financial assistance to the respective State Governments for conservation and management of these Biosphere Reserves. Research and development projects were also supported. On the basis of the proposal submitted by the Ministry, the International Coordinating Council (ICC) of Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme of UNESCO in its meeting held on 9th November 2000 has approved for bringing the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve of India on international network of UNESCO.
Efforts are on for getting other Biosphere Reserves included in the International Networks of Biosphere Reserves recognised by UNESCO. This facilitates international recognition and attracts additional funding in these sites. The Secretariat for Global Environment Facility (GEF) have approved for funding special project for long term conservation and sustainable utilisation of the resources of Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve and the project is expected to start during the current year.
The Ministry provided financial support to the respective State Governments for management interventions in the buffer zones of these biosphere reserves based on the recommendations of the Indian National MAB Committee. A number of research projects have completed during the year which have provided baseline data helpful in scientific management of these reserves. A number of new research projects were also initiated during the year. The details of the research projects initiated and completed are given in Annexure III & IV respectively. A list of Biosphere Reserves set up so far along with their area and location is given in Table-4.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sl.No. Name of the site & Date of Notification Location (State) and Bio-geographic zones area in sq.km ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Nilgiri (5,520) 1.8.86 Part of Wynad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Madumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley and Siruvani hills (Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Kanrnataka) – Western Ghats 2. Nanda Devi (5,860.69) 18.1.88 Part of Chamoli, Pithoragarh & Almora Districts (Uttaranchal) – West Himalayas 3. Nokrek (820) 1.9.88 Part of Garo Hills (Meghalaya) – East Himalayas 4. Manas (2,837) 14.3.89 Part of Kokrajar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamprup and Darang Districts (Assam) – East Himalayas 5. Sunderbans (9,630) 29.3.89 Part of delta of Ganges & Brahamaputra river system (West Bengal) – Gangetic Delta 6. Gulf of Mannar (10,500) 18.2.89 Indian part of Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka (Tamil Nadu) – Coasts 7. Great Nicobar (885) 6.1.89 Southern most islands of Andaman and Nicobar (A&N Islands) – Islands 8. Similipal (4,374) 21.6.94 Part of Mayurbhanj district (Orissa) – Deccan Peninsula 9. Dibru- Daikhowa (765) 28.7.97 Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts (Assam) – East Himalayas 10. Dehang Debang (5,112) 02.09.98 Part of Siang and Debang valley in Arunachal Pardesh – East Himalayas 11. Pachmarhi (4,926.28) 03.03.99 Parts of Betul, Hoshangabad and Chindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh, – Semi-Arid-Gujarat Raiputana 12. Khanchanjunga (2,619.92) 07.02.2000 Parts of Kanchanjunga Hills in Sikkim – East Himalayas -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wetland Conservation Programme
Wetlands are among the highly productive ecosystems on the earth and therefore need to be conserved as they provide multiple of services like water purification, regulation of flows, fisheries, habitats for plants, animals and micro organisms, opportunities for recreation and tourism, absorbing water and therefore reducing flood risks. Because of water, wetlands are a sources of life and most of the bio-diversity depends on these fragile ecosystems which harbour many endangered, migratory and vulnerable species, Wetlands are thus part of a global network of water dependent, cross boundary sources whose constituents cannot be managed in isolation.
A programme on conservation of wetlands is under implementation by the Ministry since 1987. A total of 20 wetlands in 13 states are covered under this programme which has the following main activities.
Formulation and implementation of management action plans of identified wetlands.
Promotion of research activities relating to environmental issues and management of wetlands on sound ecological basis.
Assessment of wetland resources in India and their loss in time series .
Identification of wetlands of national importance.
Monitoring and evaluation.
In order to make the programme sustainable, several initiatives have been taken up by the Ministry with the main focus on biological methods of conservation rather than adopting engineering options. The thrust is on watershed management for catchment area treatment. These activities are aimed at involving close participation of stake holders. In order to cover more conservation activities and to improve the sustainability, annual outlay has been increased to five crores from three crores last year.
So far Management Action Plan have been prepared for 18 wetlands for intensive conservation and management. Four research projects have been sanctioned for supplementing action plans.
Guidelines have been finalised for research priorities
Guidelines for monitoring mechanism have also been finalised and sent to concerned State Governments for implementation.
National Lake Conservation plan has been carved out of wetland programme to focus at 10 urban lakes.
Under UNDP programme a project on conservation and sustainable use of globally significant threatened wetlands of India has been sanctioned to SACON at a total cost of Rs. 1.25 crores which is under operation. Under this project, survey and mapping of more than 700 wetlands will be undertaken using remote sensing.
PDF – B Project has been submitted to GEF for taking up intensive conservation for four wetlands from different bio-geographic regions viz Kabar in Bihar, Kolleru in A.P., Karike in Punjab and some satellite wetlands surrounding river Keel in Tamil Nadu.
Technical Advisory Committee has been reconstituted to coordinate activities pertaining to conservation of Loktak Lake in Manipur.
Under Small Grant Funds a project on economic valuation of Harike Lake is under implementation through Wetlands International South Asia in collaboration with State Council of Science and Technology, Punjab Govt.
India which is a Standing Committee Member for this triennium attended meeting of Standing Committee held in Gland, Switzerland from 23rd –27th Oct, 2000.
India was also made a member of jury to give Ramsar Convention awards.
India is committed to designate 20 more wetlands as Ramsar sites for which action are being taken.
Two more Management Action plans for Sasthamcotta and Ashtamudi wetlands from Kerala have been finalised.
Mangroves are salt tolerant plant communities occurring in sheltered coastline areas such as bays, estuaries, lagoons and creeks. Taking into consideration ecological and economic significance of mangroves and threats faced by them due to various anthropogenic activities, the Ministry launched a scheme on Conservation and Management of Mangroves in 1986. On the recommendations of the National Committee on Mangroves and Coral Reefs, 15 mangrove areas in the country had been identified by the Ministry during 1986-87.
In the aftermath of the Super Cyclone in Orissa during October, 1999 and significant role played by mangroves in the protection of life and properties along the coastline, the Ministry identified Development of Mangroves as the Thrust Area for priority action. Accordingly following 15 additional Mangrove areas in the country have been identified for intensive conservation and management.
Subernarekha, Devi & Dhamra (Orissa)
Ramnand (Tamil Nadu)
Dakshin Kannada (Karnataka)
Devgarh, Vijaydurg, Veldur, Kundlika & Revdanda, Mumbra-Diva, Vaitrana, Vasai Manori, Shreevardhan – Varal – Turmbadi & Kalsuri (Maharashtra)
Management Action Plans for all these additional identified Mangroves areas submitted by the respective States/UTs were considered by the National Committee and financial assistance was extended during the current financial year except Dakshin Kannada and Pondicherry where some of the clarifications have been sought from the respective State Governments/UTs. Similarly, Management Action Plans for the following Mangrove areas identified earlier have also been considered by the Ministry and financial assistance extended to the respective States:
Goringa, Krishna and East, Godavari (Andhra Pradesh)
North Andamans and Nicobar (A & N Islands)
Gulf of Kutchch and Gulf of Khambat (Gujarat)
In order to motivate the concerned State Government for conservation and protection of mangroves, a presentation was made before the Environment / Forest Ministers of the respective States during the meeting held at Delhi during May, 2000. The progress of the scheme was reviewed and it is observed that a significant increase of 615 sq.km of mangrove areas in the country has been reported during the last one decade.
Taking into consideration the assemblage of the representative species of mangroves and their associates in Bhitarkanika, a Task Force constituted by the Ministry recommended establishment of a National Mangrove Genetic Resource Centre in Orissa. Accordingly, the State Government has initiated steps for establishment of this centre. Ministry has also launched a web site on Mangroves and identified Focal Points on the East and West Coast of the country for this purpose.
Coal Reefs are diverse and vulnerable ecosystems characterized by a complex inter-dependents of plants and animals. They are massive limestone structure built up through the constructional cementing process and depositional activities of the animals of the class Anthozoa as well as other calcium carbonate secreting animals. Coral Reefs are centres of high biological productivity, sites of carbon-dioxide sink and sources of huge deposits of calcium corbonate. They provide many natural raw materials of pharmacological importance including the life saving drugs.
In the Indian sub-continent, the Reefs are distributed along the East and West Coast at restricted places. Fringing reefs are found in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay as well as Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Platforms reefs are seen along the Gulf of Kutch and Atoll Reefs are found in the Lakshadeep Archipelago.
Increasing human population and anthropogenic pressures have severely affected coral distribution and biodiversity. Natural calamities cause considerable damage to the Coral Reef structures through direct and indirect means. Global warming leads to adverse impact on the survival of the Coral Reefs. The bleaching phenomenon of 1998 in the Indian Ocean is reported to have caused considerable damage to the Coral Reefs in the Indian Coast.
The following Coral Reef areas in the country have been identified for intensive conservation and management.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Gulf of Mannar
Gulf of Kutchch
Management Action Plans submitted by the respective State Government / UTs were considered by the Ministry and financial assistance extended for the same during the current financial year. Ministry has also launched Indian Coral Reef Monitoring Network (ICRMN) so as to cover activities related to monitoring of health of Coral Reefs, training and capacity building, establishment of data base network and promote research on the identified thrust areas so as to integrate the same with the management of this fragile ecosystem.
Training programme for the forest officers in Andaman & Nicobar Islands was organized and similar training programmes for the remaining three identified Coral Reef areas have been planned. Ministry has also launched a web site of Indian Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Focal Points on the East and West Coast have been identified for collection, collation and retrieval of information related to Coral Reefs in the Country.
On the recommendation of the National Committee on Mangroves and Coral Reefs, the existing centre of Zoological Survey of India at Port Blair has been designated as the National Institute of Coral Reef Research. A status Reports on identified Coral Reef areas in the country along with a National and Regional Status Report were presented by a team of Scientists and experts during the 9th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) held at Bali in Indonesia during October, 2000.
The Ministry has also been identified as the National Focal Point of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) as well as Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN). Representative of the Ministry participated in the Planning and Coordinating meetings of these International initiatives so as to share the knowledge and expertise related to conservation of Coral Reefs.
One PDF-B Project on management of Coral Reef ecosystem in Andamans supported by UNDP/GEF is in its concluding phase and a detail project document for the major project is being prepared.
‘Biodiversity’ is defined as the variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes of which they are part, including diversity within and between species and ecosystems. Biodiversity manifests at species, genetic and ecosystem levels. Biological diversity has direct consumptive value in food, agriculture, medicine and industry. It also has aesthetic and recreational value. Biodiversity maintains ecological balance and continues evolutionary processes. The indirect ecosystem services provided through biodiversity are photosynthesis, pollination, transpiration, chemical cycling, nutrient cycling, soil maintenance, climate regulation, air, water system management, waste treatment and pest control.
India is one of the 12 mega biodiversity countries of the world. From about 70% of the total geographical area surveyed so far, 46,000 plant species and 81,000 animal species have been described. India became a Party to the International Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in May 1994. The three objectives of Convention are the (i) conservation of biological diversity, (ii) sustainable use of components of biological diversity and (iii) fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources.
The scheme on Biodiversity Conservation was initiated to ensure coordination among various agencies dealing with issues relating to conservation of Biodiversity and to review, monitor and evolve adequate policy instrument for the same.
Pursuant to India’s ratification of the CBD on 18th February 1994, steps have been initiated to meet the commitments/opportunities offered by it. The main implementation measures for the CBD are through national strategies, legislation and administrative instruments to be developed in accordance with each country’s particular conditions and capabilities.
Activities undertaken during the year are as follows:
National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) Project
Adopting a consultative process with the stakeholders, a National Policy and Action Strategy on Biological Diversity has been drawn up as a macro-level statement of strategies, gaps and further actions needed for conservation, sustainable use and strategies and realisation of actual and potential value of biological diversity. Emphasising the need for conservation and analyzing provisions of the Convention, this macro-level policy identifies the basic goals and thrust areas and outlines action points for conservation and management of biodiversity.
In order to prepare detailed micro-level action plans at state and regional levels based on the framework document, the Ministry has accessed funds from the Global Environment Facility for the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan Project. The NBSAP project envisages assessment and stocktaking of biodiversity – related information at state level including distribution of endemic and endangered species and site specific threats and pressure. Key features of this project include an emphasis on decentralised state level planning, and the use of interdisciplinary working groups to involve all sectors concerned with biodiversity conservation. These detailed State level action plans will be consolidated and a national level action plan will be developed.
The Minister launched this project on 11th April 2000 and released the brochure ‘Call for Participation’. Executing agencies for the States, Thematic Working Groups, Eco-regions and Substate sites were identified. State Governments were requested to designate nodal agencies and constitute State Steering Committees. The first National Workshop for introducing the key participants to the process of NBSAP was held in June 2000. About 160 participants representing government agencies, non-governmental organisations, academicians etc. participated in the workshop. Several documents have been prepared to facilitate executing agencies in the preparation of Strategy and Action Plan. The second meeting of the Steering Committee was held on 13th November 2000. A website for the NBSAP project has been created and a bimonthly newsletter for NBSAP was released in October 2000.
India’s richness in biological resources and indigenous knowledge relating to them is well recognised. One of the major challenges is in adopting an instrument which helps realise the objectives of equitable benefit sharing enshrined in the Convention. Towards this, an outline of biodiversity legislation has been prepared which aims at regulating access to biological resources and making such access subject to terms and conditions which secure equitable sharing of benefits for the resources accessed.
After Cabinet’s approval in March 2000, extensive interactive sessions were held with Legislative Department for converting the outline of legislation into a Bill. After completing all procedural formalities, the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 15th May 2000. The Bill has been referred to the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science, Technology, Environment and Forests for examination and report. A detailed presentation on the Bill was made before the Parliamentary Committee in August 2000. The Committee is currently recording the evidences and undertaking studies/visits to elicit the views of various stakeholders.
Biosafety means minimising the potential risks to human health and environment from the handling and transfer of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) produced through modern biotechnology. Recognising the potential risks of LMOs, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) addressed this issue of biosafety in Articles 8 (g), 19.3 and 19.4. An Open-ended Ad-hoc Working Group under the aegis of CBD negotiated the protocol. The protocol was adopted during an extraordinary meeting of the Conference of Parties to the CBD in January 2000.
After the adoption of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, a draft note for Cabinet seeking approval for signing the Protocol was prepared and circulated to concerned Ministries/Departments. Comments received were analysed, and the note revised. The revised note was submitted to the Cabinet in September 2000. The Cabinet in its meeting held in November, 2000 approved the proposal. India has signed the Protocol on 23-1-2001.
The CoP to the CBD established an Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biodiversity (ICCP). India was elected to represent Asia on the ten membered Bureau of ICCP. Dr. P.K. Ghosh, Adviser, Dept. of Biotechnology has been nominated to the ICCP Bureau. Two meetings of the ICCP Bureau were held so far in which India participated. India also participated in the first meeting of ICCP held in December, 2000.
All India Coordinated Project on Taxonomy (AICOPTAX)
A sound taxonomic knowledge base is a prerequisite for environmental assessment, ecological research, effective conservation, management and sustainable use of biological resources. However, the taxonomic expertise is aging and declining in number, both nationally and globally when the need for a taxonomic stocktaking of the earth’s biodiversity is becoming increasingly important. In order to address this issue, the Ministry has launched an All India Coordinated Project on Taxonomy (AICOPTAX).
The fourth meeting to the Steering Committee was held in August 2000. Two new centres for research have been identified. During the year second instalment of the funds sanctioned last year was processed for nine Centres for ‘Research’ and two Centres for ‘Training’.
Indian Institute of Biodiversity
The Institute is proposed to be set up at Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh as an autonomous Institute under Societies Act to design and conduct research on various aspects of Biodiversity. The Institute will focus on biodiversity inventorisation, utilisation and conservation, study of the people’s knowledge, institution’s traditional practices and innovations about conservation and sustainable utilisation and dissemination, ecosystem management and eco-enterprise development. The activities of the Institute are proposed to be guided by a Governing Council and a Science Advisory Committee under overall supervision of the society. The memorandum of association and rules and regulations of the society and necessary financial approvals to start the scheme are being framed. Approval of the scheme from the Ministry of Finance is yet to be received.
Assistance to Botanic Gardens
The scheme on Assistance to Botanic Gardens and Centres for ex-situ conservation was initiated in 1992 to augment ex-situ conservation of rare endemic plants. Under the scheme one time financial assistance is provided to the existing botanical gardens for improvement of their infrastructual facility. The achievements made in these Botanic Gardens is periodically evaluated through Botanical Survey of India and regional offices of the Ministry. The scheme helps in strengthening ex-situ conservation of rare endemic plants and providing education through network of existing Botanical Gardens. The scheme has been greatly appreciated.
The Ministry has constituted an Expert Group to identify and recommend proposals received under the scheme. The Botanical Survey of India helps in identification of rare endemic plants requiring ex-situ conservation and one hundred Botantial Gardens were provided financial support so far. During the year, the following institutions were provided financial support for improvement of infrastructure facility in their Botantial Garden.
State Forest Research Institute, Itanagar
Gujarat Agriculture University, Junagarh
M.N. College, Visnagar, Gujarat (N.G.)
C.C.S. University, Meerut
Dr. Babaseheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad
State Botanical Garden, Khonghampat, Dept. of Forest and Environment, Govt. of Manipur.
Govt. of Manipur, Luwangsangbam, Imphal
Forest Department, Govt. of Mizoram, Aizawl.
Arunachal University, Itanagar
St. John’s College, Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu
R.B. Narayanarao Borawate College, Shrirampur, Distt. Ahmednagar
Amravati University, Amravati, Maharasthtra.
Dr. Panjabrao Dshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola, Maharasthra
Yeshavantrao Chauhan Institute of Science, Satara, Maharashtra
Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirapalli, Tamilnadu
Institute of Science, Nagpur
Research Division Forest Department, Goa (Satpal Arboratom)
Karpagam Arts and Science College, Coimbatore.
Medicinal Plants has been identified as one of the thrust areas by the Ministry. The existing programmes encompassing activities in the area of medicinal plants have been augmented to carry out conservation of medicinal plants found in the forest and protected areas and also cultivation of medicinal plants in the degraded forest areas.
A Task Force was constituted in the Planning Commission under the Chairmanship of Dr. D.N. Tiwari and the Ministry was represented in the meetings of the Task Force and provided inputs from time to time. As per the recommendation of the Task Force, the Ministry has submitted a comprehensive proposal on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Medicinal Plants to the Planning Commission.
In-situ and Ex-situ Conservation of Medicinal Plants
In the Southern States of Kerala. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Medicinal Plants Conservation Areas (MPCA) and Medicinal Plants Conservation Networks (MPCN) have been established for in-situ conservation under the DANIDA funded programme. Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) and the State Forest Departments are involved in these efforts.
UNDP-CCF I assisted sub-programme on Medicinal Plants is being executed in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Eighteen MPCAs are likely to be developed under this programme.
Ex-situ conservation of medicinal plants in degraded forest areas is undertaken under the Joint Forest Management (JFM) programme. Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have developed Medicinal Plants Development Area (MPDA) under the DANIDA funded project being executed by Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) and the State Forest Departments.
Botanic Gardens, including those maintained by Botanical Survey of India (BSI) are actively involved in ex-situ conservation of rare and endangered medicinal plants.
Four National Gene Banks have been set up to conserve genetic resources including medicinal plants.
The Ministry has sanctioned a project with a total outlay of Rs. 4.60 lakhs for a duration of 12 months for validating threatened plants species included in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and negative list of exports. This includes medicinal plants.
The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) has been assigned a project for undertaking assessment of floristic diversity in the protected areas of the country at a total outlay of Rs. 78.30 lakhs. The duration of the project is three years.
The Ministry has sanctioned projects on inventorisation of Medicinal Plants to FRLHT and BSI. The studies would include trade data, nomenclature, inventory of medicinal plants from literature sources, taxonomic inventory, inventory based on the use of medicinal plants in the Indian system of medicine and traditional health care.
UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
India is a signatory to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) since 14th October 1994 and it came into effect in India from 17th March 1997. The Convention’s main objective is to take appropriate measures for combating desertification and to mitigate the effects of drought in an integrated manner to achieve sustainable development. As on 10th December 2000, 172 countries have acceded / ratified the Convention.
Implementation of the Convention at the National Level
Under the Convention , all affected Country Parties are to prepare a National Action Programme (NAP) for combating desrtification and drought in the country. India has also begun the process of preparation of the National Action programme and a high-level inter-sectoral National Steering Committee (NSC) has been set up under the Ministry, which is the National Focal point for implementation of the Convention, for the formulation and implementation of NAP. A National Action Programme (NAP) for combating desertification in the country is on the anvil. Four Working Groups had been constituted as per decisions of the National Steering Committee (NSC) for addressing various cross cutting areas, which have to be addressed in the NAP. The Reports of the four Working Groups were submitted during the year. A draft National Action Programme was also prepared using these reports. The reports as well as the draft National Action Programme were widely circulated to all relevant Central Ministries/Departments, R&D and other organisations, State Governments NGOs, etc. On the basis of responses, the draft is under revision, which would again undergo a second level of consultations in the two UNDP sponsored Regional Workshops to be held shortly. The Ministry is also holding a series of meetings/discussions with the relevant Ministries such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Rural Development on the issues to be addressed in NAP. The final NAP would incorporate the views obtained from these consultations and will be ready soon.
Implementation of the Convention at the Regional level
Under the Regional Action Programme (RAP) for Asia, six Thematic Programme Network (TPN) areas have been identified for regional co-operation amongst member parties in the Asian Region and to help the member parties strengthen their existing infrastructure for tackling the problems related to these areas. The programme is to launch in such a manner that the network will be sustaining at the end of the project period in all the member countries which participate in the network. The Programme is also expected to throw up ideas, identify gaps in knowledge, shortcomings in R&D and in exiting data and their applicability. India is the nodal country for hosting the TPN-2 namely, ‘Agroforestry and Soil conservation in the Arid, Semi-Arid and Dry Sub-Humid Regions in Asia". India launched TPN-2 on March14-15, 2000 at New Delhi followed by a field visit to Rajasthan organised by the nodal institution for TPN-2, namely the Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, during March 16-18, 2000. The launch was attended by delegates from 14 countries of the Asian Region and representatives of the CCD secretariat at Bonn as well as from the Regional Coordinating Unit at Bangkok. A large number of representatives from the New Delhi offices of international donor organisations such as UNDP,UNEP, GTZ, and donor countries representing the EU, Canada, etc. and representative of ADB also participated. The network is expected to forge and strengthen partnerships between the countries of Asia to address issues on land degradation.
Indian institutions would also similarly participate in the networks of five other focal areas as follows:
TPN-1 Desertification monitoring Host country – and assessment China TPN-3 Range and pasture Host country – management in arid areas Iran with particular emphasis in controlling, shifting sand dunes TPN-4 Water resources Host country – management for agriculture Syria in arid, semiarid and dry sub-humid areas TPN-5 Drought preparedness and Host country – mitigation in the context of Mongolia climate TPN-6 strengthening planning Host country – capacities for drought Pakistan management & controlling desertification
Participation in International Events
During the year, India participated in the TPN-1 Workshop held on June 28-30 at Unu, Tokyo, Japan. China is the host for TPN-1, which addresses issues on Desertification Monitoring and Assessment under RAP in Asia. The Space Applications Centre (SAC), Department of Space, Ahmedabad which also participated in the Tokyo Workshop is the Technical Coordinator for establishing the TPN-1 network in India. India also participated in the Regional Symposium on Sustainable Development of Desert Communities (SDCC), held in Yazd, Iran during May 16-18,2000. India also participated in the Third Regional Meeting of the National Focal Points under the UNCCD and a two day workshop on financial resources held back-to-back at Bangkok during November 7-10,2000, as well as in the Fourth Conference of the Parties (CoP-4) to the UNCCD held at Bonn, during December 11-22, 2000. India as per the obligation under the Convention submitted the National Report on the implementation of the UNCCD in India for consideration at CoP-4. India also contributed to the UNCCD’s Core budget for the year 2000.
During the year, the Ministry received 1160 proposals from all the State/Union Territories for seeking approvals under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, for diversion of forest land for other purposes. The status of these 1160 cases are as follows:-
(i) No. of proposals decided 711 Between 0-3 months 564 Between 3-6 months 106 Between 6-12 months 41 (ii) Closed for non- furnishing of information by State/ UT Govt. 09 (iii) Proposals returned to/withdrawn by State Govt. 29 (iv) Proposals under process in the Ministry 88 (v) No. proposals pending with State Govts. for want of additional information 323
In addition to the disposal of the above proposals received during the year, the number of approvals issued during the year 2000, including those of the previous years, are as follows:-
- Stage II approval 921 - Stage I approval 391 - Rejected 69 Total 1381
State-wise status of proposals received during the period 1996-2000 is given in the Table-5.
State wise status of all proposals received during 1996-2000
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- S. State No. of Sanctioned Rejected Rejected for Returned/ Under Pending with no. Proposals want of with drawn consideration states for received information by states of Ministry want of information ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Assam 214 35 30 0 142 7 0 2. Arunachal 23 21 0 0 1 1 0 Pradesh 3. Andhra Pradesh 122 71 28 8 4 5 6 4. A. N. Island 15 10 0 0 0 2 3 5. Bihar 125 72 3 34 3 5 8 6. Dadra & Nagar 107 78 0 5 0 2 22 Haveli 7. Gujarat 473 359 24 13 3 5 69 8. Haryana 222 172 4 11 2 1 32 9. Himachal 314 151 18 44 6 5 90 Pradesh 10. Manipur 5 4 0 0 1 0 0 11. Meghalya 16 14 0 0 2 0 0 12. Mizoram 11 6 1 0 0 2 2 13. Chandigarh 10 6 0 0 0 0 4 14. Delhi 3 0 0 0 1 0 2 15. Goa 17 10 2 3 0 1 1 16. Punjab 417 270 10 49 2 15 71 17. Orissa 190 131 9 13 7 12 18 18. MP 317 183 57 28 5 16 28 19. Maharashtra 493 309 37 42 1 33 71 20. Rajasthan 386 251 38 13 7 48 29 21. Karnataka 182 91 23 37 3 3 25 22. Kerala 46 22 3 12 1 1 7 23. Tamil nadu 83 57 18 3 0 1 4 24. Tripura 84 75 3 0 3 2 1 25. Sikkim 14 13 0 0 0 1 0 26. West Bengal 23 17 1 1 1 1 2 27. Uttar Pradesh 888 718 35 23 23 5 84 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TOTAL 4800 3146 344 339 218 174 579 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. No. of proposals received. 4800 2. Net proposal received (col. 3-7) 4582 3. No. of proposals disposed (col. 4+5) 3490 (76%) 4. Closed for non-furnishing of information by the State Government 339 (7%) 5. Under active process in the Ministry 174 (4%) 6. Pending with State Government for want of additional information 579 (13%)
Regional Offices of the Ministry
The primary functions of the Regional Offices of the Ministry are to monitor and evaluate the ongoing forestry projects and schemes with specific emphasis on conservation of forests and follows up action on the implementation of conditions and safeguards laid down by the Ministry while granting clearance to development projects under FCA/EPA. The Regional Chief Conservator of Forests are empowered to decide cases for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purpose upto the extent of 5 ha except mining and regularisation of encroachment. They have also been empowered to examine cases involving forest land 5 ha to 20 ha in consulation with the State Advisory Group (SAG).
The Ministry has six Regional Offices located at Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Shillong and Chandigarh with its headquarter unit in the Ministry at New Delhi. The Seventh Regional Office at Ranchi could not be made functional due to financial constraints. Details of the Regional Offices and their jurisdictions are given in Annexure – II
Region-wise target and achievement for monitoring of approved projects under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for the year 2000-2001 are given in Table-6.
Statement Showing Region-wise Physical/Financial Targets and Achievements for Monitoring of Approved Project Under FCA 1980 and EPA 1986 for the Year 2000-2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Regional Physical Financial Offices FCA (No. of Cases) EPA(No. of Cases) Site No.of Cases Target Achievement Target Achivement Target Achievement Inspection approved (Rs. In Lakhs) Under FCA up to 5ha ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Banglore 190 115 75 225 15 43 60.30 42.47 Bhopal 160 67 75 52 57 233 66.10 43.03 Bhubneshwar 200 43 85 117 13 23 61.85 39.39 Lucknow 175 157 90 76 14 371 62.35 41.45 Shillong 85 12 40 - 29 19 56.85 34.50 Chandigarh 95 36 35 24 11 194 40.45 28.37 RO(HQ) Administrative/Coordinating unit in the Ministry 102.10 50.29 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Total 950 430 400 494 139 883 450.00 279.50 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
National Forestry Action Programme (NFAP)
The Ministry has formulated the National Forestry Action Programme a comprehensive strategic long term plan for the next twenty years to address the issue underlying the major problems of the forestry sector in line with the National Forest Policy, 1988. The objective of the NFAP is to bring one third of the area of the country under tree/ forest cover and to arrest deforestation for achieving sustainable development of forests.
The main components of the programme are :
Protect existing forest resources
Improve forest productivity
Reduce total demand
Strengthen policy and institutional frame work
Expand forest area.
The implementation of NFAP requires huge financial resources and the total investment estimate is Rs 1339 billions over the next twenty years. The availability of internal resources is inadequate. Efforts are being made to mobilize resources both from external and internal sources.
The following steps were taken during the year in connection with the implementation of National Forestry Action Programme:
Planning Commission has been requested to step up allocation to the forestry sector in the annual plans of State and Central Government in the coming years for implementation of NFAP to achieve the desired objectives of the sustainable development of forests.
All the Chief Ministers were requested to step up allocation to forestry sector in Annual Plans of the States for implementation of SFAPs. Most of the Chief Ministers have agreed to consider it favourably.
Nodal officers of the Ministry impressed upon the Planning Commission to increase the allocation to forestry sector during the finalisation of Annual Plans of the States.
States have been asked to submit proposals under the various ongoing CSS schemes of the Ministry to step up allocation.
All the Chief Secretaries of States were requested to form coordination committee at State level under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary for implementation of NFAP. State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Arunanchal Pradesh have already formed the Committees in this regard.
Director General, FAO was requested to organise international donors conference to mobilise resources for implementation of NFAP – India. Donor conference is proposed to be organised in Rome shortly.
President, World Bank was requested to help mobilize resources for implementation of NFAP.
Frequent consultations with Planning Commission and donor agencies being held.
Project profiles in consultation with UNDP/FAO obtained from eight States and other States are being pursued.
Consultants appointed for north eastern states, Sikkim and J&K to formulate concept papers to secure external assistance.
ICFRE, IGNFA, IIFM, IPIRTI and FSI have been requested to formulate umbrella projects for external assistance for research, HRD, survey and demarcation, maps procurement working plans, utilisation, marketing etc.
Twelve projects were formulated out of which six were sent to World Bank, one to JBIC, one to EEC and the remaining four projects are being scrutinised.
A workshop on "Greening India through Agroforestry and JFM" was organised at Banglore in collaboration with Planning Commission.
Modern Forest Fire Control Methods
During the year the Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Introduction to Modern Forest Fire Control Methods’ continued to be implemented with the following objectives:
To control forest fires with a view to protect and conserve both natural and man made forests.
To improve productivity of forest by reducing the incidents and extent of forest fires.
To devise, test and demonstrate principles and techniques for prevention, detection and suppression of forest fires.
Orientation and training of personnel for participation in forest fire management.
Under this scheme, 100% central assistance is provided to the States for capacity building to control forest fires. Assistance is provided mainly for following items:
Fire resistant clothing
Research and publicity
Training and demonstration
Creation of fire lines
Construction of watch towers
Fire finding instruments
Wireless communication sets
This scheme was being implemented in eleven states of the country viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh and is now proposed to be extended to all states viz. Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Jammu & Kashmir and Rajasthan.
The scheme was reviewed and the Air Operation Wing was considered to be inefficient and therefore is being closed down after the disposal of helicopters and other spare parts. Under the Central Sector, a strong component for data collection and monitoring of forest fires and involvement of JFM committees in the fire prevention and control measures is being undertaken. Forest fire danger rating systems and fire forecasting system will be evolved through Forest Survey of India. With the help of Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education and other research organisations, losses on forest fire will be estimated. A national master plan for prevention and control of forest fires for the 10th Five Year Plan period with a total budget outlay of about Rs.600 crores has been prepared by the Ministry after detailed consultation with State Governments. With these changes, the scheme has been modified and renamed as ‘Forest Fire Control and Management’. The Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) meeting has approved an outlay of Rs. 40 crore during the 9th Five Year Plan and the funds are being released to all the States for fire prevention and control measures in identified fire prone forests areas. An estimated outlay of Rs 14 crore is being released during the current year to the States. The States have been issued national guidelines on forest fire prevention and control. Guidelines for prevention and control of forest fires have been issued to the States and measures have been suggested for creating an efficient fire prevention and control mechanism in the States. The guidelines include proposal for efficient implementation of Section 33 and Section 79 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927. FAO has given consultancy for extension of technology for forest fire management and involvement of people in forest fire prevention and control.
Infrastructure Development in the Northeast
To bridge the infrastructure gap in the Northeastern region, the Ministry has considered releasing funds to the States based on their project proposals. Assam and Tripura have already been released Rs. 7.25 crore and Rs. 5 crore respectively during the current year. The proposals of other States are under process and an amount of Rs 18.45 crores is expected to be released during the current financial year.
Joint Forest Management (JFM)
The National Forest Policy, 1988 envisages people’s involvement in the development and protection of degraded forests as a permanent resource base to fulfil the requirements of fuelwood, fodder and small timber to local communities as well as to develop the forests for improving the environment.
In order to implement the policy prescription, the Ministry issued guideline on 1.6.1990 to involve the village communities in the development and protection of degraded forests on the basis of their taking a share of the usufruct from such areas. The concept of Joint Forest Management was accordingly initiated by developing appropriate mechanisms.
So far 26 States have issued resolution for JFM. As on 1.9.2000, 10.25 million ha of forest lands in the country are being managed and protected by 36165 Village Forest Protection Committees. The activities under JFM programme are monitored by the JFM Cell of the Ministry. The Ministry reviews this programme after wider consultation with all the stakeholders and issued further guidelines to the States for strengthening the programme on February 21,2000. The guidelines inter alia include providing legal backup to the JFM Committees, extension of JFM in good forest areas with sharper focus on activities concentrated on Non Timber Forest Produce(NTFP) management, increase participation of women, establishing conflict resolution mechanism, integration of micro plan with the working plan, contribution for regeneration of resources and monitoring and evaluation. In order to monitor the programme properly, a format for monitoring of the JFM is being prepared. JFM Nodal Officers have been appointed in the States for better coordination of the JFM work. A committee has also been constituted by the Ministry for preparing a JFM scheme for the 10th Five Year Plan in order to ensure long term success.
Various activities relating to wildlife conservation and implementation of National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) were carried out by the Ministry during the year. Details of such activities are as follows:
Enforcement of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and Import Export Policy
The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and Export and Import Policy of India were continued to be enforced through the offices of the Regional Deputy Directors of Wildlife Preservation located at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai with the help of State Wildlife Department, the State Police Departments, the Customs Departments, BSF and Coast-Guards. Several cases of poaching of illegal trade in wildlife products were detected by the Regional Dy. Directors during the year.
During the year, ban on export of 29 species of plant, plant portions and their derivatives obtained from wild were continued. The export of six species of exotic birds were allowed for export subject to pre-shipment inspection. However, the export of Java Sparrow, which is included in Appendix II of CITES, export is allowed under licence subject to the provision to CITES and pre-shipment inspection.
Control of Illegal Trade
Effective measures were taken for control of illegal trade in wildlife and its products at national and international level, both through the States/UTs as well as Regional Offices of Wildlife Preservation under this Ministry. The Subramanian Committee appointed to look into the issues related to illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products, has recommended several measures for strengthening anti-poaching infrastructure arrangements. Some of the major recommendations are:
Establishment of a Central Wildlife Crime Data Bank to collect, collate and analyse data on wildlife and to provide implementable guidelines to field staff.
Establishment of a Central Task Force with branches of important centres that would co-ordinate with all other enforcement agencies like Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), National Informatics Centre (NIC) etc. The Home Ministry has also conceptually agreed with the creation of a Wildlife Trade Prevention Control Bureau under Ministry of Environment and Forests. The matter is being processed.
As per the decision of the "Special coordination and enforcement committee for strengthening measures for control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife" under the Chairmanship of Secretary (E&F), and Special Secretary (Ministry of Home Affairs), Chairman (Central Board of Excise and Customs, Ministry of Finanace), Director (CBI) as members and Additional Director General (WL) as Member Secretary. The State/UT Governments were advised to set up State level/District level Coordination Committees to control poaching and illegal trade in Wildlife. The co-ordination Committees decided that a long-term strategy has to be formulated in collaboration with the CBI and other organisations to curb trade in wildlife and its products. The Central Government has also authorized CBI to file complaints with regard to offence punishable under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 in areas in their respective jurisdiction.
Revision of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
In order to make implementation of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 more effective, a Committee was set up to review it. The draft amendment Bill has been sent to Law Ministry for vetting before obtaining Cabinet approval.
Indian Board for Wildlife (IBWL)
The IBWL is the apex advisory body in the field of Wildlife Conservation in the country and is headed by the Honorable Prime Minister of India. A meeting of the Standing Committee of IBWL was held on 14.6.2000 under the Chairmanship of Minister for Environment and Forests. The Committee recommended to hold workshop on legal issues related to Wildlife conservation in each zone. It was also decided to set up a committee under the Chairmanship of the Director, Wildlife Protection, Ministry of Environment and Forests to prepare a revised guideline for wildlife research.
Development of National Parks and Sanctuaries
There are 88 National Parks and 490 Wildlife Sanctuaries in the country covering an area of 1.53 lakha sq. kms. During the year, financial assistance for development of National Parks and Sanctuaries has been provided to 157 National Parks and Sanctuaries in 25 States (including 8 North-eastern state) and UT. Under the scheme, 100% Central Assistance is provided for non-recurring item of expenditure for National Parks and Sanctuaries where as 50% assistance is provided for recurring items of expenditure also in case of National Parks. From this year onwards, Protected Areas in mountains, deserts and coastal regions supporting large population of endangered species like snow leopard, red panda, rhino, sangai deer, pharys’ leaf monkey, musk deer, hangul, great indian bustard, chinkara and black buck have also become eligible for 100% central assistance for recurring item of expenditure.
Project Tiger was launched on April, 1973 on the basis of the recommendations of a special task-force of the Indian Board of Wildlife with the following main objectives:
To ensure maintenance of a viable population of tiger in India for scientific, economic, aesthetic, cultural and ecological values.
To preserve, for all times, the areas of such biological importance as a national heritage for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people.
At present there are 27 Tiger Reserves spreading over in 14 States and covering an area of about 37761 sq.km area. Details of various Tiger Reserves along with the location are given in Table-7.
Name of the Tiger Reserves in Tiger Range States with year of Creation and Area
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Sl. Year of Name of Tiger Reserve State Total Area No. Creation in Sq. Kms. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1. 1973-74 Bandipur Karnataka 866 1999-2000 Nagarhole (extension) 643 2. 1973-74 Corbett Uttar Pradesh 1316 3. 1973-74 Kanha Madhya Pradesh 1945 4. 1973-74 Manas Assam 2840 5. 1973-74 Melghat Maharashtra 1677 6. 1973-74 Palamau Bihar 1026 7. 1973-74 Ranthambhore Rajasthan 1334 8. 1973-74 Similipal Orissa 2750 9. 1973-74 Sundarbans West Bengal 2585 10. 1978-79 Periyar Kerala 777 11. 1978-79 Sariska Rajasthan 866 12. 1982-83 Buxa West Bengal 759 13. 1982-83 Indravati Madhya Pradesh 2799 14. 1982-83 Nagarjunsagar Andhra Pradesh 3568 15. 1982-83 Namdapha Arunachal Pradesh 1985 16. 1987-88 Dudhwa Uttar Pradesh 811 1999-2000 Katerniaghat (extension) 551 17. 1988-89 Kalakad- Mundanthurai Tamil Nadu 800 18. 1989-90 Valmiki Bihar 840 19. 1992-93 Pench Madhya Pradesh 758 20. 1993-94 Tadoba-Andheri Maharashtra 620 21. 1993-94 Bandhavgarh Madhya Pradesh 1162 22. 1994-95 Panna Madhya Pradesh 542 23. 1994-95 Dampha Miroram 500 24. 1998-99 Bhadra Karnataka 492 25. 1998-99 Pench Maharashtra 257 26. 1999-2000 Pakhui-Nameri Arunachal Pradesh-Assam 1206 27. 1999-2000 Bori,Satpura,Panchmari Madhya Pradesh 1486 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Total 37761 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Project Tiger is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. The States receive 100% financial assistance for non-recurring items and 50% for approved recurring items. An amount of Rs. 1349 lakhs has been released to the various Tiger Range States upto December, 2000.
Following major initiatives for implementation during IX plan have been approved by the Government :-
Creation of six new Tiger Reserves.
Project Allowances to the field staff of Tiger Reserve as an incentive measure for officials who work in very harsh and deficient condition.
Deployment of paramilitary force in troubled Tiger Reserves at 100% central assistance.
Beneficiary Oriented Scheme for Tribal Development
This scheme was launched to re-habilitate the tribal and other families under relocation plan, to shift the families from inside the protected areas to outside. The main components are:
Identification of the villages to be relocated;
Identification of sites for relocation; and
Preparation of re- habilitation projects.
Under the scheme an amount of Rs. 246.00 lakh has been released (till Dec.2000) to the States for the relocation of tribal families.
Eco-development Scheme in and around National Parks and Sanctuaries including Tiger Reserves
The scheme was launched to provide alternate sources of sustenance to the communities living at the fringes of National Parks and Sanctuaries including Tiger Reserve, to improve the ecological productivity of the buffer zones of protected areas through the involvement of these communities in protecting these Sanctuaries and National Parks and their wildlife; through a well designed package of activities aimed at providing sustenance to the forest side communities and ameliorating their hardships to minimize conflicts between those communities and the protection staffs.
The various activities undertaken under the scheme are:
Alternate sources of energy
Infrastructure building /roads etc. and
Small welfare measures.
An amount of Rs. 898.00 lakhs has been released during the year to various states under the scheme.
India Eco-development Project
India Eco-development project is being implemented in Seven Protected Areas in seven different States as the externally aided Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme under "Eco-development around Protected Areas including Tiger Reserves". It covers two National Parks and five Tiger Reserves. The estimated cost is Rs. 294.93 crores to be spent over a period of five years ending Dec. 2001. The main aim of the project is to conserve bio-diversity through eco-development, effective and extensive support for eco-development and preparation of future bio-diversity projects. The project is implemented in seven areas namely Buxa, Palamau, Nagarhole, Periyar, Pench, Ranthambore Tiger Reserves and Gir National Park.
An amount of Rs. 11.17 crores has been released till December, 2000 under the project.
Project Elephant was launched to assist states having free ranging population of wild elephant to ensure long term survival of identified viable populations of elephants in their natural habitats. States are being provoded financial as well as technical and scientific assistance in achieving the objectives of the Project.
Main activities of Project are:
Ecological restoration of existing natural habitats and migratory routes of elephants.
Development of Scientific and planned management for conservation of elephant habitats and viable population of wild Asiatic elephant in India.
Promotion of measures for mitigation of man-elephant conflict in crucial habitats and moderating pressures of human and domestic stock activities in crucial elephant habitats.
Strengthening of measures for protection of wild elephants from poachers and unnatural causes of death.
Research on Project Elephant management related issues.
Public education and awareness programme.
During the year, an amount of Rs. 9.00 crores (Rs. 4.00 crores for North-Eastern States) was allocated to the elephant range states in order to provide financial assistance for habitat management, management of man- elephant conflict, payment of ex-gratia relief for loss of life etc., strengthening of anti-poaching measures, capture and translocation of problem elephant population etc. States like Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur were requested to conduct elephant census in their respective states.
Wildlife Institute of India
Wildlife Institute of India (WII) was established in 1982 under the Ministry of Agriculture and subsequently brought to the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The main mandate of this Institute is to impart training to government and non-government personnel, to carry out research and training activities and advise on matter of conservation and management of wildlife resources. WII became an autonomous Institute of the Ministry, with a 46 member WII Society headed by the Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Government of India as its apex body. (The details of its research and education training activities are given in chapter 7 and 8 respectively).
Central Zoo Authority
Central Zoo Authority (CZA) with its headquarter in New Delhi was established in 1992 under the provisions of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to upgrade the management of zoos in the country with the view to enhance their role in conservation . Central Zoo Authority consists of 10 members and one whole time Member Secretary and is chaired by the Minister, Environment and Forests, Government of India. Two committees namely ‘Administrative Committee’ under the Chairmanship of Director General of Forests and Technical Committee under the Chairmanship of Additional Director General of Forests (Wildlife) have been constituted for carrying out the functions of the Central Zoo Authority.
Main functions of the Central Zoo Authority are:
Specify minimum standards for housing, upkeep and veterinary care of the animals in the zoos.
Recognition of zoos on the basis of evaluation of their functioning.
Identity endangered species of wild animals for the purpose of Captive Breeding and assigning responsibility in this regard to zoo.
Coordinate the acquisition, exchange and loaning of animals for breeding.
Ensure maintenance of stud-book of endangered species of animals in captivity
Coordinate training of zoo personnel in India and outside.
Provide technical and other assistance to zoos for management and development on scientific lines.
Details of activities undertaken by the Central Zoo Authority during the year are as follows:
Evaluation of the zoos, with reference to minimum standards and norms prescribed under "Recognition of Zoo Rules, 1992" was continued. Out of the total 29 zoos (4 large zoos, 4 medium zoos, 7 small zoos and 14 mini zoos) who have been evaluated during the year only 18 zoos were granted conditional recognition. 11 zoos (one small and 10 mini zoos) were issued show cause notices for non-compliance of stipulated conditions of the recognition.
With a view to upgrade the level of management particularly with respect to animal housing and veterinary health care facilities, 21 zoos in the country were provided financial assistance to the tune Rs. 421.90 lakhs.
A Committee on Zoo Designing was constituted to scrutinize animal enclosure designs submitted by various zoos.
A research project was awarded to Wildlife Institute of India to evaluate exhibit design related behavior pattern in primates and carnivores in selected Indian zoos. Financial assistance was also provided to Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad for establishing a ‘Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species’ at Hyderabad as per the provisions of the MOU signed in this regard.
To facilitate Planned breeding programme for Asiatic Lions and Bengal Tigers, an updated edition of "Stud Book" of these animals was published and distributed to various zoos.
Hindi translation of the booklet, "Zoos – Instrument of Conservation", which contains all the important regulations, rules and guidelines issued, by Central Zoo Authority, was published and distributed to zoo managers across the Hindi belt.
One Zoo Director and one Veterinary Officer were deputed for training on Conservation of Endangered Species at Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, U.K as part of the capacity building at supervisory level.
A training programmes for supervisory level was organised at Alipore Zoological Garden, Kolkatta in association with the Wildlife Institute of India. Training programme for capacity building of zoo keepers were also organised at Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vandalur Chennai, Bhubaneswar and Kanpur.
A three days workshop on Health Management of Zoo Animals’ was organised in association with Assam Veterinary College, Guwahati.
Out of the seven ‘Rescue Facilities’ proposed to be established for rehabilitation of the circus animals, work at four centers namely Vandalur ( Tamilnadu), Bannerghata (Karnataka), Vishahapatanam and Tirupati ( Andhara Pradesh) have been completed. Work at fifth center at Nahargarh, Jaipur (Rajasthan) is under progress. Funds to the tune of Rs. 625 lakhs have been released by the Authority for this purpose.
The Central Zoo Authority released an ad-hoc grant of Rs. 20.00 lakhs on its own initiative for carrying out urgent rehabilitation work in the Nandan Kanan Biological Park, Bhubanswar which was damaged due to super cyclone last year. The position was assessed and a comprehensive scheme for rehabilitation of the Zoo for a total sum of Rs.149.50 lakhs was approved. The Ministry has released Rs. 100.00 lakhs to the State Government up to December, 2000 in this regard.
The concern of media and the people at large about the death of animals in zoos was discussed with the various State Government and Zoo Directors to work out a strategy for effective management of animal collections. The important decisions taken in this regard are :
No new zoo to be set up in pubic sector unless standard of upkeep in the existing zoos is brought to the desired level.
Action plans to reduce overcrowding of animals in the zoos should be prepared and implemented.
Single animal in the collections of zoos should be pooled into viable population through loan exchange and gifts.
Continuity of curatorial staff and the veterinary staff should be ensured to get the optimum benefit of their experience and training.
Some incidents of breach of security in zoos were also reported during the year.
The concerned zoos have been directed to beef up the security. Financial assistance to the extent of Rs. 21 lakhs has also been provided to Hyderabad Zoo for upgrading security arrangements.
National Zoological Park, New Delhi
The National Zoological Park (NZP), New Delhi spread over an area of 176 acre and houses about 1200 animals and birds of 135 species. The effort at NZP is to maximise the visitor satisfaction by maintaining a healthy collection of a variety of endangered as well as common fauna.
Details of activities undertaken by the NZP are as follow:
The animal houses and enclosures of Black Buck, spotted beer, Sambar, Swamp Deer, Indian Rhino, Elephant, Hog Deer, Chausingha and Chinkara were improved and modified. Nocturnal house was renovated. Trees were pruned in animals enclosures like Hippo, Jackal, Marsh Crocodile and Ghariyal to provide for better sunlight. Sand was provided in marsh Crocodile and Ghariyal enclosures for basking.
Special winter care planning was initiated and executed well in time to keep the animals in comfort during chilling winter months. The various measures taken were, covering all the ventilation openings in animal houses with hasen cloth, providing hay to lay warm on, providing heaters in big cat enclosures, providing hay and bamboo baskets with warm cloth lining for snakes, pruning tree branched overhanging the bird cages, increase in feed etc.
The proud release for display during the year has been 6 months old lion cub named Sarswati. This hand- reared lion cub born in NZP was refused by the mother lioness after about a week of birth.
The two palm civet youngs in the NZP hospital continue to be hand reared.
Painted stocks, pelicans, cormorants, etc bred in the NZP waterbodies.
Long distance migratory birds like, shovellers, pochards, mallards, yellow wagtails, etc visited NZP this year too. A pair of blacknecked stocks was a special attraction to the visitors.
During the year 1:0 goral and 2:2 red jungle fowls were added to the NZP collection against 1:0 Goral and 2:2 silver Phesants from Kufri zoo, Himachal Pradesh. Exchange proposal for sparing 1:1 Goral and 2:2 Nilgai against 1:1 Wild Dog and 1:1 Reticulate python, with AZP, Chennai; and sending two female elephants to Corbet NP were finalised.
Gift consignments consisting of 36 animals like 2:5 Chital, 2:2 Sambar, 2:5 Nilgai, 2:2 Hog Deer, 5:5 Rhesus Macaque and 2:2 Common Langur to Yaman, and an Asian Elephant calf to Japan are awaiting transportation.
Students from Veterinary College, Hissar, Haryana were given training in treatment of wild life in captivity as a part of their activities during internship.
Stricts sanitary schedule was maintained by periodic application of disinfectants, inside and outside the animal houses and around the animals enclosures. The enclosure moats were maintained dry. The incinerator was maintained in condition and the dead animals were disposed off by burning in incinerator.
A number of guided tours and lectures were ogranised for the groups from Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. In order to reach children, through teachers, a one-day orientation programme was conducted for school teachers in the month of August. This was followed by participation of students of Kendriya Vidhayalaya of NCT of Delhi in visitor management on weekends.
A trail was marked for visitors, with limited time, to visit the NZP in two hours covering important displayed species. The directional sinages, display board, guide maps, name boards etc, were maintained. New sinages were developed and procured from CEE, Ahmedabad. A new zoo guidebook, zoo guide map and pamphlets were also published.
A function to celebrate Vanmahotsava was organised in which all the staff members participated. Over 10,000 saplings largely for hedge plantations were planted around animal enclosures.
Various competetion viz. painting, essay writing, wildlife quiz and amateur photography etc. were organised to create awareness amongst the school children and visitors during the Wildlife Week. In order to make the zoo "polythene free and eco-friendly" restriction on entry of private vehicles, eatables and polythenes inside the zoo were continued strictly.