Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 2(UNI) Union Minister of State for Environment S Raghupathi today reminded the country had a formidable task of balancing economic growth and conservation of natural habitats.
Inaugurating the Wildlife week celebrations here, he said conservation this was necessary because of fast population growth and its demands on the country's finite resources.
The most secure basis for conservation was to ensure that people depending on particular resources got better livelihoods from the act of conservation than from degradation of resources, he added.
Pointing out that the National Environment Policy of 2006 maintains environmental concerns in all developmental activities, he said the dominating theme of the policy was that conservation of environmental resources was necessary to secure livelihoods and well-being of all.
Mr Raghupathi said the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016) had outlined several strategies and Action Points like Protected Area networks and management, restoration of degraded habitats and ensuring people's participation.
Stating that Protected Area (PA) network of the State was crucial for survival of wildlife, he suggested that it had to be improved and broadened by incorporating more areas especially wherever such gaps existed.
He also extended all support and guidance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests to the State in initiating and expanding all PA centric and landscape based proposals.
Pointing out the importance of wildlife conservation, he said the Task Force set up by the Planning Commission had recommended for enhanced budgetary allocation for various schemes aimed at wildlife conservation.
Kerala Forest Minister Binoy Viswam presided over the function.