Big boost for tiger conservation
TNN 1 August 2009, 01:09am IST
PANAJI: The ad hoc committee on agriculture and forest chipped in for the cause of tiger conservation, recommending to the government a comprehensive study to ascertain the presence of the endangered species and notification of the areas of habitation under wildlife protected area.
Strongly urging the government to propose and encourage tiger projects to save the species from extinction, the panel also asked the government to initiate adequate measures to protect Molem after the assessment for tiger population.
“If trees are living beings, I will say tigers are moving beings,” a citizen had said at a public meeting of the panel for suggestions, while asking authorities about steps initiated to protect the big cats. In reply, the forest department had stated that the presence and number of tigers needs to be studied in detail before taking further action. The entire area of western ghats under the state forest department jurisdiction has been notified as wildlife protected area’ of the state for conservation of the flora and fauna it supports.
Reacting to citizens’ criticism of destruction of natural heritage, including trees and forest cover, at the public meeting, the panel took a serious view of illegal felling of trees and felt that the regional forest officer should be empowered to protect the forest cover.
Expressing its dismay over the government’s indolent and negligent atttitude towards protection and conservation of forests’ with regard to influential persons involving in illegal mining, the ad hoc committee demanded formulation of a vision document with a clear cut policy to control the ill-effects of the mining activities on bio-diversity and ecology, and resultant destruction of life support systems – air, water and soil.
The panel also decried the lack of a proper forest policy and the delay in formulating the working plan for effective forest management, especially for South Goa.
Regarding demarcation of areas of private forests, the committee expressed dissatisfaction about the department’s clarification, stating that it does not specify in clear terms the status of these green areas in the wake of directives from the high court of Bombay at Goa.
Noting that some individuals and volunteers were doing a good job in rescueing snakes and animals, the ad hoc committee suggested that the government consider a proposal to reward them. The department had stated in its reply that rescue centres have been set up to facilitate the process of animal care till they can be rehabilitated.