Indian Minister of Environment, Do Not mark Wild Animals as 'Vermin' and hunt them

  • by: Isha S
  • recipient: Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

It is unfortunatel that the Indian minister of environment has declared species of wild animals as 'vermin' and given permission for people to brutally hunt them. The forest is the natural habitat of a number of species of wild animals and birds. These green areas are essential to maintain the eco-balance of the country. 

A larger number of people are now been given permission to encroach on the areas occupied by the animals. Environment minister of India, Prakash Javadekar said 20,000 hectare of land has been added to forest land for afforestation while approving projects.The government in past one year gave approvals to 5,500 projects of which more than 3,200 were submitted online.

With the clearing of more and more forest lands, the animals have nowhere to go but to "encroach" on "human" habitats. WHO is the vermin here? The people who encroach the lands or the animals who were the original inhabitants? Where is this going to end? Until all the animals and their habitats are gone? We have to wake up to the implications of this proposal. 

If implemented, it will apply to wild animals listed in various Schedules of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) 1972. We implore the minister to resolve the issue in a humane way that will not upset the ecological balance.  

While India has a broad suite of policies and measures in place for addressing deforestation and degradation and enhancing forest carbon stocks, a dedicated institutional structure needs to be put in place.

Tropical deforestation accounts for about a fifth of the global CO2 emissions. Reducing deforestation and forest degradation as well as activities leading to carbon stock enhancement in developing coun-tries present a unique opportunity for cost-effective global climate change mitigation while delivering multiple benefits such as biodiversity conservation.

Currently India does not have a system of providing information on environmental and social safeguards. In order to effectively monitor safeguards, it will be necessary to evolve a clearly defined set of indicators and criteria for parameters such as forest governance structures, respect for rights of indigenous peoples, and full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, along with a system to monitor these.

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