Members of the National Tiger Conservation Authority have been appointed. This was declared in New Delhi yesterday.
The Minister for Environment & Forests is the Chairperson of the Authority, and the Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment & Forests is its Vice-Chairman. The other Members include: three Members of Parliament; Chairperson, National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes; Chairperson, National Commission for the Scheduled Castes; Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests; DGF & Special Secretary; Director-Wildlife Preservation; six Chief Wildlife Wardens from Tiger Reserves in rotation for three years; Joint Secretary and Legislative Counsel from the Ministry of Law and Justice; Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs; Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj. The Inspector General of Forests In-charge of Project Tiger is the Member Secretary of the Authority.
The eight non-official experts include Professor Madhav Gadgil (Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science), Prof. Gopal K. Kadekodi (Director, Institute for Social and Economic Change), Shri H.S. Panwar (Retd. Director Wildlife Institute of India), Prof. Ram Dayal Munda (former Vice Chancellor, Ranchi University and Member, Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal people), Prof. Anil P. Gore (Department of Statistics, University of Pune), Prof. Raman Sukumar (Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science), Dr. Jamal Ahmad Khan (Department of Wildlife Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University) and Dr. Archana Prasad (Reader-Environmental History/Biodiversity/Tribal Livelihoods, Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Jamia Millia University).
The Tiger Task Force constituted by the Prime Minister had, inter-alia, recommended converting Project Tiger into a Statutory Authority, for effective implementation and monitoring of tiger conservation initiatives. Based on the recommendations, the Wildlife (Protection) Act has been amended to provide for constituting the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act has come into force with effect from 4th September, 2006, and based on its enabling provisions, the National Tiger Conservation Authority has also been constituted with effect from the same date.
The Authority is a statutorily empowered decision-making body and has several functions towards tiger conservation. The 1st meeting of the Authority would be held shortly and would discuss several issues which include review of protection status in tiger reserves, poaching, implementation of the Tiger Task Force recommendations, approach for the XIth Five Year Plan, status of all India tiger estimation, and related issues.