New Delhi (NM Bureau): There is an urgent need to optimise conservation efforts of wildlife as the situation could lead to an existential crisis for humans said minister for commerce Suresh Prabhu in a function held on the occasion of World Elephant Day.
Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said “man-animal conflict can create an existential crisis for humans and protection of wilderness and forests was a must for preserving wildlife.” He called on for optimising conservation efforts in this regard.
Minister Prabhu was addressing a gathering to celebrate 'World Elephant Day' and to mark the beginning of a four day long 'Gaj Mahotsav' in the premises of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts here in the National capital Delhi.
Minister presented the 'Best Elephant Warrior Award' to late Mani Kandan who a senior Indian Forest Service officer at Karnataka's Nagarhole Tiger Reserve. Kandan was trampled to death by a tusker when he went inside the jungle to assess the damage caused by a forest fire this year.
As per the data released by the Indian Environment Ministry for the year 2017, there are about 30,000 Asian elephants left in the world and most of them confined to South Asia and Southeast Asia. Incidentally, around 60 per cent of the global population of Asian elephants are in India.
Taking part in the symposium as part of the festival organised by the Wildlife Trust of India in collaboration with other government and non-government bodies, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change officials of India said that “if elephants were confined to one place, nature's linkage will be broken and pointed to the need to protect the habitat and corridors of elephants.”
The four day long Gaj Mahotsav focuses on the “right to passage” for elephants in India where industrialisation is fast infringing upon Elephant habitats. The deliberations during the festival focused on improving enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching and trade in ivory. Different panel discussions delved on issues conserving elephants' habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and reintroducing some captive elephants into sanctuaries.