Jairam Ramesh wants India to set up national elephant conservation authority
New Delhi, May 24 (ANI): Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said the Government will soon set up a National Elephant Conservation Authority to protect and conserve Elephants in the country.
Addressing the Elephant-8 Ministerial Meeting here, Ramesh said: "Unlike the tiger, which faces threat of extinction, the elephant faces threats of attrition. The elephant numbers have not increased or decreased drastically, but there is increasing pressure on the elephant habitats and it is a serious concern that we will try and address by involving people in elephant conservation and welfare through this campaign."
He said the mining projects in Central India are the biggest threat to Elephant corridors especially in the states of Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Launching a new campaign, "Haathi Mere Saathi" to protect elephants, Ramesh emphasised the need to strike a balance between mining projects and safeguarding Elephant corridors.
He also expressed concern over the killing of Elephants in rail accidents and ill treatment meted out to the Elephants used in temples.
He said that one of the recommendations of the Elephant Task Force last year was for India to take a lead in global elephant conservation. This has now become a reality at this E-8 Meet.
"The delegates present here represent two-third of the world's wild elephant population. Later in 2013 we will bring in all the 50 elephant range countries together to deliberate and actively cooperate for elephant conservation and welfare," he added.
The Asian elephant is threatened by habitat degradation, conflicts and poaching for ivory. These threats are more intense in India, which harbours more than 50 per cent of the world's Asian elephants, but also struggles to balance its aspirations for development, and people's welfare, as it strives to secure its natural heritage. (ANI)
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