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Vital issues on agenda of June 19 National Wildlife Board meet

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Jun 17 (UNI) Vital issues relating to wildllife protection and conservation will come up for discussion at the third meeting of the National Board for Wildlife to be held here on June 19 under Chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The agenda includes follow up of recommendations of tiger task force, including setting up of National Wildlife Crime Bureau, and conservation of important wetlands, Red Jungle Fowl and Asiatic lions.

Besides, the meeting will also take up the issues of giving legal powers to Army for protection of wildlife and Raising of an Ecological Task Force Battalion for Sanctuaries, an Environment Ministry release said here today.

It is proposed that Field Commanders of the Army deployed for counter insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and North East need to be vested with legal powers as provided to chief wildlife wardens.

By virtue of their task and deployment, once conferred with legal powers, these Field Commanders will be able to assist the concerned forest authorities in ensuring protection of flora and fauna.

It is also recommended that a force of disciplined and dedicated individuals be formed for protection of sanctuaries. Since most of the soldiers of the Army retire between 35-40 years of age and are well trained, disciplined and with considerable experience of operating in jungle, they are best suited for such jobs.

This force would be tasked to check poaching, stop biodegradation and prevent denudation and theft of forest wealth in areas where deployed.

The meeting may also consider the proposal to fund a large number of Government organizations like railways and the Army, who have large land holdings rich in flora and fauna, and have structured institutional mechanism for looking after the ecology of the area.

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