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'Project Elephant' not getting due attention: Panel

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) A Parliamentary panel has expressed dissatisfaction over the way 'Project Elephant' is being handled saying there is lack of effective strategy to curb poaching.

'Project Elephant', an initiative by the Ministry of Forest and Environment to save the pachyderm, was not getting the required importance, the Standing Committee on Forest and Environment said in its report tabled in Parliament during the current Budget session.

''The tusk is as precious as tiger skin and not immune from poachers, therefore an effective strategy should be evolved for their protection,'' it said.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the reply of the Ministry in this connection, the panel pointed out that corrective measures taken by the Ministry do not include any anti-poaching strategy.

''Establishing elephant corridors is not sufficient enough to protect the animal,'' the committee said, adding its recommendation was very categorical about anti-poaching measures.

The Committee recommended sufficient allocation must be provided to various states for habitat management and mitigation of human-elephant conflict, payment of ex-gratia for loss of human life and crops caused by wild elephants, capacity building of the field staff, registration of domesticated elephant using mirochips.

The Committee has also expressed concern that tiger reserve in most of the national parks have failed to protect their inmates It has also recommended the Ministry to generate data and maintain a sustainable population of each animal for scientific management of the problems relating to their survival and conservation.

Research initiative in the field of sustainable use of wildlife products are needed, it report said.

The Ministry should cover not only wildlife research and training but also the socio-economic aspects of wildlife conservation, it added.

UNI NAZ AK HT1517

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