National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development

The National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992, the National Forest Policy 1988, and the Policy Statement on Abatement of Pollution, 1992 are the major policy instruments of the Government for dealing with various problems of environment and development in a comprehensive manner. These documents also form the basis for devising strategies, schemes and programmes and regulations for ensuring integration of environmental considerations in the development activities of the various sectors, thus paving the way for achieving sustainable development.


Biosphere Reserves

Areas rich in biodiversity and encompassing unique and representative ecosystems are identified and designated as Biosphere Reserves to facilitate conservation of India s immense biological diversity which is estimated to be over 47,000 plant species and 81,000 animal species, representing about 7% of the world s flora and 6.5% of world s fauna, respectively. Nearly 15,000 flowering plants are endemic to the country and in the case of fauna, the extent of endemism is estimated at about 62%.

The programme is a pioneering effort at pursuing the increasingly difficult yet urgent task of conserving ecological diversity under mounting pressures. The nine Biosphere Re-

serves set up so far not only aim to protect representative ecosystems, but also serve as laboratories for evolving alternative models of development. The details of the Biosphere Reserves set up so far are given in Table - 3.

Table - 3
S.No.   Biogeographic Region    Name of the Bisophere                   Date of setting up
                                Reserve and State
1.      West Himalaya           Nanda Devi (UP)                                 18.01.1988
2.      N.E. India              (a) Nokrek (Meghalaya)                          01.09.1988
                                (b) Manas (Assam)                               14.03.1989
                                (c) Dibru Saikhowa (Assam)                      28.07.1997
3.      Gangetic Plains         Sunderbans (WB)                                 29.03.1989
4.      Coastal                 Gulf of Mannar (TN)                             18.02.1989
5.      Western Ghats           Nilgiri (Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu)      01.08.1986
6.      Islands                 Great Nicobar                                   06.01.1989
7.      Deccan Peninsular       Similipal (Orissa)                              21.01.1994

Efforts are on to set up Biosphere Reserves in Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat; Dehang- Debang in Arunachal Pradesh; Kanchenjunga in Sikkim; the Cold Desert area adjoining Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir; Abujmarh, Kanha, Pachmarhi and Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh.


Wetlands, Mangroves and Coral Reefs


India is rich in fresh water wetland resources which exhibit great ecological diversity. The wetlands of our country are of great economic, aesthetic and scientific importance as they support fishes, birds and other wildlife and also play an important role in flood control, treatment of wastewater, reduction of sediment loads and pollution abatement. Our wetlands are under great anthropogenic pressures and face serious threats such as draining, conversion to agricultural and pastoral lands, pollution, eutrophication etc.,

Realising the importance of conservation of these wetlands, a National Level Committee has been constituted to advise the Government on policy guidelines for implementing programmes on conservation, management and research on identified wetlands. The Committee has so far identified 19 wetlands for intensive conservation and management purposes on priority basis. Management Action Plans for these wetlands have been prepared by the concerned State Governments. Broad components of the Management Action Plans include survey and demarcation, notification, wildlife conservation and development of fisheries avifauna, pollution abatement, water quality improvement, catchment area treatment, weed and silt control, bio- diversity conservation and environmental awareness programme etc.

During the year, an amount of Rs. 132.45 lakhs has been released to the State Governments for the Management Action Plans of Chandertal, Pongdam and Renuka wetlands in Himachal Pradesh and Loktak lake in Manipur.

India is a signatory to the convention on wetlands of international importance especially as water fowl habitat generally referred to as Ramsar Convention, 1971. The Convention is an inter-governmental treaty which provides for conservation of wetland habitats. Under the convention, a total of 881 wetlands of international importance, occupying an area of 62.77 million hectares have been designated by 101 contracting parties. India has designated six wetlands, viz; Keoladeo National Park Bharatpur and Sambar (Rajasthan), Chilka (Orissa), Loktak (Manipur), Wullar (J&K) and Harike (Punjab).



Mangroves are salt tolerant forest ecosystems, found mainly in the tropical and sub- tropical inter-tidal regions of the world. They are reservoirs of a large number of plant and animal species associated together over a long evolutionary time and exhibiting remarkable capacity for salt tolerance. They stabilise the shoreline and act as a bulwark against encroachments by the sea. The rich biological diversity of the mangroves provide sources of livelihood for the people of the area and some mangroves support flourishing apiary industries.

India harbours some of the best mangroves in the world, these are located in the alluvial deltas of rivers such as the Ganga, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery as well as on the Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands. The total area covered by mangroves in India is estimated at about 6700 sq. km. which constitutes about 7% of the world s mangroves. The Sunderbans of West Bengal represents the largest stretch of mangroves in the country and covers an area of about 4200 sq. km. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands account for an additional 1200 sq. km. while small patches are found in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.

The Ministry has been implementing a Plan scheme on Conservation and Management of Mangroves since 1986-87. Under this scheme, fifteen mangroves areas have been identified in the country for intensive conservation and management. The main activities under the scheme include preparation and implementation of Management Action Plans and promotion of research. Management Action Plans for the following areas were sanctioned during the year:


Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs are shallow-water tropical marine ecosystems, characterised by a remarkably high biomass production and a rich faunal and floral diversity. The structure of a reef is formed by calcareous skeleton which houses the coral, a type of soft-bodied radially symmetrical marine invertebrate belonging to phylum Coelenterata. Millions of coral skeletons cemented together over a period of time ranging from a few thousands to millions of years result in the formation of coral reefs which are of three types:

The major reef formations in India are restricted to the Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay, Gulf of Kutch, A&N and Lakshadweep Islands. While the Lakshadweep reefs are atoll reefs, the other reefs are all of fringing type. Patchy coral is present in the inter-tidal areas of the central west coast of the country.

Taking into consideration the importance of coral reefs and the factors responsible for their deterioration, the following areas in the country have been identified for conservation and management:

The National Committees constituted for conservation and management of wetlands and mangroves advise the Government on policy issues related to conservation and management of these fragile areas. State level Steering Committees have been set up for the formulation and implementation of the Management Action Plans for the identified coral reef areas and such Management Action Plans have been sanctioned for Andaman and Nicobar and Gulf of Mannar coral reefs so far.

A project for strengthening management of the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve to be supported by UNDP and GEF has been approved by the Ministry. The project is being implemented by M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Madras. A project on Coral Reefs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to be supported by GEF has also been agreed to in principle.


Biodiversity Conservation

The scheme on Biodiversity Conservation was initiated during 1991-92 to ensure coordination among various agencies dealing with issues relating to conservation of biodiversity, and to review, monitor and evolve adequate policy instruments for the same.

Pursuant to the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity by India on 18th February, 1994, several steps have been initiated to meet the commitments under the Convention, and to realize the opportunities offered by the Convention. These efforts aim at bringing the legislative, administrative and policy regimes in tune with the three-fold objectives of the Convention.

Activities of this scheme during the year are as follows:


National Action Plan

A draft National Action Plan on Biodiversity has been prepared. This plan aims at consolidating the on-going efforts of conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and establishing a policy and programme regime for this purpose. This draft National Action Plan has been discussed in a National meeting in which about 80 participants representing various Ministries/Departments of the Central Government, the State Governments, experts and NGOs participated. The draft National Action Plan is now being given a final shape.



Work pertaining to legislation on biodiversity was continued. Following a series of consultations with the concerned Ministries, experts and NGOs, and the National Consultation on 10th June 1997, the Ministry constituted an Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. M.S. Swaminathan to suggest a suitable draft of the proposed biodiversity legislation. The draft outline of the legislation submitted by the Expert Committee was released by the Minister for Environment and Forests on 27th October 1997. Further action to finalise the draft in consultation with other concerned Ministries and Departments is under way.


Biosafety Protocol

The inter-ministerial Task Force on Biosafety set up for developing India s stand in the international negotiations for a protocol on biosafety, continued its work during the year. Five meetings of the Task Force were held for finalising the legal text on some of the elements of the protocol.


Biodiversity Information Network

For developing a distributed biodiversity information network, the existing infrastructure and systems available in various organisations are being assessed. Standardization of data format has also been undertaken.


Capacity Building on Taxonomy

A National Workshop was organised in Jaipur in February 1997 for building capacity in taxonomy. A Technical Committee has been set up for follow up action on the recommendations of the Jaipur workshop. Work for preparing an All India Coordinated Project on Taxonomic Capacity Building is in progress.


Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)

An inter-ministerial Committee has been set up for working on issues related to IPRs. Two meetings of the Committee were held during the year wherein the discussionsfocussed on patenting of microorganisms and ongoing negotiations on database treaty.


National Report

Work for preparing the first National Report for the Convention on Biological Diversity is underway. Financial assistance has been received from GEF for this purpose. During 1997-98, India participated in the following international meetings related to biodiversity:


Combating Desertification

The UN convention to Combat Desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa was ratified by India on 17th December, 1996. While the Convention came into force on 26th December, 1996, in India, it came into effect on 17th March, 1997. By ratifying the convention, India has reiterated its commitment to continue to accord priority to take all actions to prevent land degradation in the arid, semi- arid and dry sub-humid areas in the country and to improve the productivity of land on which the poor depend for their subsistence in such areas.

India participated in the following international meetings related to Desertification Convention during the year:

During the Second Regional Meeting for Implementation of the convention in Asia in May, 1997 at Beijing, the following six thematic programme areas were identified for regional cooperation among Asian countries.

India is expected to host the thematic programme area on Agroforestry management and soil conservation in arid, semi- arid and dry sub-humid areas. The objectives of the theme is to curtail the process of wide scale deforestation and watershed degradation through the development and promotion of economically viable and environmentally sound technologies for expanding tree cover and their incorporation into farming systems.

Besides electing the office bearers, the Conference of the Parties (CoP) during its First Session in October 1997 also agreed on the functions and modalities of the Global Mechanism (GM) for mobilizing financial resources and decided to house the mechanism at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome in collaboration with UNDP and World Bank. The Conference designated Bonn, Germany as the seat of the Permanent Secretariat and agreed to a recommendation from INCD to accept the offer of the Secretary General of the United Nations to provide administrative and support arrangements for the Convention Secretariat. The CoP also adopted a Convention budget as well as rules of procedures, financial rules and procedures for reviewing implementation. The Committee on Science and Technology (CST), a subsidiary body of the Convention met in conjunction with the CoP and developed a programme of work in the areas of networking, benchmarks & indicators, collaboration with other scientific bodies and application of traditional knowledge. The Conference of the Parties (CoP) also appointed an adhoc group of independent experts to take the work on benchmarks and indicators forward.


Assistance to Botanic Gardens


This scheme was initiated during 1991-92 to promote ex-situ conservation and propagation of rare plant genetic resources in different regions of the country through anetwork of botanic gardens. Under this scheme an one-time, non- recurring financial assistance is provided to botanic gardens for strengthening their existing infrastructural facilities to facilitate conservation and propagation of rare and endangered endemic plant species of the region.

The Botanical Survey of India has prepared a list of endangered plants in different phyto geographic regions of the country and an Expert Group constituted by this Ministry examines the proposals received from various institutions, universities and State Government/UTs for assistance under this scheme. Financial assistance has been provided to twelve botanic gardens during the year and some more proposals are under consideration.


Forest Conservation

Conference of State Forest Secretaries, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Wardens

A conference of State Forest Secretaries, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Wardens was organised at SCOPE Complex, New Delhi on 25-26th September, 1997 to deliberate on a number of important issues relating to Forest Policy, Conservation and Protection of Forests, Afforestation, Conservation of Wildlife, and issues of North-Eastern States. The conference was structured into three working groups dealing with general forestry, wildlife, and issues relating to North-Eastern States. The recommendations of the conference are under examination in the Ministry.


Implementation of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

Under the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, prior approval of the Central Government is essential for diversion of forest land for non-forest purpose. Since the enactment of the Act, the rate of diversion of forest lands has come down to around 25,000 ha. per annum from around 1,43,000 ha. per annum before 1980.

During 1997, more than 900 proposals from various State and UT Governments were processed under the Forest (Conservation)Act, 1980 out of which 531 were fresh proposals. The status of these proposals is given below:

Total received                                                  531
Total approved (Stage-II)                                       147
Total approved in principle (Stage-I)                           370
Temporary working permission                                    185
Total rejected on merit                                          43
Pending with central Government                                 103
Withdrawn                                                        -
Pending with State Government for want of information           126


Regional offices of the Ministry-Monitoring of projects approved under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The primary functions of the Regional Offices of the Ministry are to monitor and evaluate the on-going forestry projects and schemes with specific emphasis on conservation of forests and to follow-up on the implementation of conditions and safeguards laid down by the Ministry while granting environmental clearance to development projects. The Regional Chief Conservator of Forests are empowered to decide cases on diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes upto the extent of 5 ha. except mining and regularisation of encroachments. They have also been empowered to examine cases involving forest land between 5 ha. in consultation with the State Advisory Group.

There are six Regional Offices functioning at Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Shillong, and Chandigarh. The seventh Regional office proposed to be opened at Ranchi has not yet been established. Details of the Regional Offices and their jurisdictions are given in Annexure-II.

Region-wise targets for monitoring of cases under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for the year 1997-98 and their achievements are given in Table - 4.

Table - 4

Statement showing Region-wise Physical/Financial Targets and Achievements for
Monitoring cases Under FCA 1980 and EPA 1986 for the Year 1997-98

Regional                   Physical                                                                   Financial 

Ofices       FCA(No.of Cases)           EPA(No. of Cases)      Site         No. of Cases   No. of Cases  Target  Achievement
             Target    Achievement    Target    Achievement    Inspection   approved       approved
                                                                            under FCA      under FCA     (Rs. in lakhs)
                                                                            below 5ha.     5ha-20ha.
Bangalore    185       190            80        82               18            25             25          39.10     39.03
Bhopal       185       173            80        89               47           147             80          46.27     42.25
Bhubaneswar  185       182            80       179               78            37             24          44.65     44.09
Lucknow      185       180            80       196              130            75             59          42.80     41.41
Shillong     120        67            45        45               26            65             30          38.48     38.61
Chandigarh    90        92            35        35               20            45             15          25.24     24.84
RO(HQ)        -         -             -         -                -             -              -           88.46     76.35

Total        950       884           400       626              319           394            233         325.00    306.58


Forest Legislation

First drafted in 1865, the Indian Forest Act was revised in 1878; the Act was consolidated again in 1927 to regulate laws relating to forest produce. Subsequently, several amendments to the Act were made and some of the States have promulgated their own Forest Act. After the adoption of the National Forest Policy, 1988, it was proposed to consolidate all amendments done by the States from time to time and update the Indian Forest Act, 1927, so that it is in conformity with the provisions of the new Forest Policy.

The Draft Forest Bill proposed in 1990 by a drafting committee was circulated to all States and UTs and to voluntary organisations for comments and suggestions, which have now been received. A committee has been constituted by the Ministry to review these suggestions and comments, after which, the final draft will be prepared.


Association of Scheduled Tribe and Rural Poor in Regeneration of Degraded Forests on Usufruct Sharing Basis

In pursuance of the National Forest Policy, 1988 a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme entitled Association of Scheduled Tribe and Rural Poor in Regeneration of Degraded Forests on Usufruct Sharing basis was started in VIIIth plan to involve the local people in rehabilitation of degraded forests in tribal dominant areas. Besides improving the forest cover of degraded forests, the scheme also aims at providing wage employment and usufructs to the tribal people.

The specific objectives of the scheme are:

The scheme is under implementation in nine States namely, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra, Karnataka, Orissa, Rajasthan, and West Bengal on the basis of projects prepared by them. The total outlay of Rs. 735 lakhs for this scheme during the 8th Five Year Plan has been fully utilised.


Joint Forest Management

The National Forest Policy, 1988 envisages peoples involvement in the development and protection of forests to fulfil the objectives of providing fuelwood, fodder and small timber to local communities as well as to develop the forests for improving the environment.

In order to implement the policy prescription, the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued guidelines on 1.6.1990 to involve the village communities in the development and protection of degraded forests on the basis of their taking a share of the usufructs from such areas. The concept of Joint Forest Management (JFM) was accordingly initiated and endorsed to all States and Union Territories for oprationalising the same by developing appropriate mechanisms. Ninteen States have issued their resolutions for JFM. As per reports from 10 States, 4.06 million ha of degraded forests in the country are being managed and protected through approximately 40,400 Village Forest Protection Committees.


Modern Forest Fire Control Methods

The Centrally Sponsored Scheme Introduction of Modern Forest Fire Control Methods launched during the 8th Five Year Plan, continued to be implemented.

The objectives of the scheme are as follows:

Under this scheme, 100% central assistance is provided to the State for the following items:

The scheme is under implementation in 11 States of the country, viz : Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.


Wildlife Conservation

The activities to implement the National Wildlife Action Plan were continued during the year. The major activities during the year are as follows:


Protected Area Network

The network of protected areas now comprises 84 National Parks and 447 Wildlife Sanctuaries covering about 1.50 lakh sq. kms. area. This network is spread over all the biogeographic zones of the country including Himalayan, peninsular, marine, estuarine, riverine, mangroves and desert ecosystems.


Wildlife Institute of India

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) organised four courses and 52 officers and students were trained during the year. Efforts to build-up professional managers for protected areas through training of professional cadre in all aspects of wildlife were continued at the WII. A number of research projects have been started and some projects have been completed and reports published (More details of the WII are given under Chapters 7 and 8).


Control of Illegal Trade

Effective measures were taken for control of illegal trade in wildlife and its products at national and international levels, both through the States as well as the regional offices of Wildlife Preservation under this Ministry. The Subramaniam Committee appointed to look into the issues related to illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products, has recommended several measures for strengthening anti-poaching infrastructure and arrangements. The implementation of the recommendation of the Committee are being pursued with the State Governments. The National Coordination Committee (NCC), set up to promote effective inter-departmental co-ordination for the control of illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products in the country had one meeting during the year. The Committee comprises representatives from Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, CBI, BSF, ITBP, Commissioner of Police, ND, RPF, New Delhi, Deptt. of Post and Telegraph, Army Head Quarter, Traffic India and Reg. Dy. Directors of Wildlife Preservation, Western, Northern, Eastern and Southern Regions.


Wildlife (Protection) Act. 1972, Revision

In order to make implementation of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 more effective, an Inter-state Committee was set up to review the Act. The report submitted by the Committee has been circulated to all the State Government s and Ministries for their comments and further action will be taken in consultation with the Ministry of Law.


Indian Board for Wildlife (IBWL)

The Indian Board for Wildlife (IBWL), the apex advisory body in the field of wildlife conservation in the country, headed by the Prime Minister, consists of 10 non-officials, five NGOs, three MPs and thirty official members. During the year two meetings of the IBWL were held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister, and one meeting of the Standing Committee of IBWL was held under the Chairmanship of the Minister for Environment and Forests. Follow up action on the recommendation of these meetings has been initiated.



Two fellowship awards namely - Dr. Salim Ali and Shri Kailash Sankhla Fellowships have been instituted by the Ministry for giving recognition to eminent officers and field workers for exemplary work in the field of Wildlife Conservation and Research. Dr. Salim Ali National Wildlife Fellowship was awarded during the year. Rajiv Gandhi National Wildlife Conservation Award, has also been instituted.


Awareness Generation

Wildlife week was celebrated from 2nd-8th October, 1997 all over the country. Various functions were held by the State Governments for generating awareness about wildlife conservation. During the week, essay competitions, debates, clay modeling, free trips to national parks and sanctuaries, drawing competitions etc. were organised. National Museum of Natural History also screened wildlife films during the week. The main function of the Ministry was held at the National Zoological Park. On the occasion, a message from the Prime Minister was released and circulated to all the States. A poster of birds and a hand drawing of a tiger cub were also released by the Prime Minister. The Minister for Environment and Forests delivered a message to the nation on doordarshan.


Enforcement of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and Import Export Policy

The Wildlfie (Protection) Act, 1972, and the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild founa and flora (CITES) and Export and Import Policy of India continued to be enforced through the office of the Regional Deputy Directors of Wildlfie Preservation located at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai with the help of State Wildlife Wings, State Police, the Customs Departments, BSF and Coast-guards. Several cases of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife products were detected.


Development of National Parks and Sanctuaries


Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, financial assistance was provided to 22 States for development of National Parks and Sanctuaries. In all 20 National Parks and 127 Sanctuaries were assisted during the year and 100 percent assistance was provided for selected items of non-recurring nature to both National Parks and Sanctuaries and 50% recurring items were also supported in case of some National Parks.


Eco-development in and around National Parks and Sanctuaries

Assistance was provided to the States for taking up programmes of eco-development around National Parks and Sanctuaries including tiger reserves in order to achieve ecologically sustainable economic development of these areas and reduce the biotic pressure on protected areas for ecosystem conservation. During the year, financial assistance was provided to six National Parks and thirty seven Wildlife Sanctuaries.


Siberian Crane Experiment

India is a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning the Conservation of Siberian Cranes. In addition to India, countries such as Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Khazakastan, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan and Ujbekestan, as well as organisations such the UNEP/CMS Secretariat, the International Crane Foundation and the Wild Bird Society of Japan are also signatories to the MoU. The annual action plan for the conservation of the Siberian Cranes, formulated during the meetings of the range States held in India in 1996, has been adopted by all the range States.


Project Tiger


At present, there are twenty three Tiger Reserves in fourteen States of the country covering an area of 33,000 sq. kms. The list of Tiger Reserves is given in Table - 5.

Table - 5

Sl.  Year of    Name of Tiger Reserve   State                Total area
No.  creation                                                (In Sq. Kms.)
1.   1973-74    Bandipur                Karnataka                866
2.   1973-74    Corbett                 Uttar Pradesh           1316
3.   1973-74    Kanha                   Madhya Pradesh          1945
4.   1973-74    Manas                   Assam                   2840
5.   1973-74    Melghat                 Maharashtra             1677
6.   1973-74    Palamau                 Bihar                   1026
7.   1973-74    Ranthambhore            Rajasthan               1334
8.   1973-74    Similipal               Orissa                  2750
9.   1973-74    Sunderbans              West Bengal             2585
10.  1978-79    Periyar                 Kerala                   777
11.  1978-79    Sariska                 Rajasthan                866
12.  1982-83    Buxa                    West Bengal              759
13.  1982-83    Indravati               Madhya Pradesh          2799
14.  1982-83    Nagarjunsagar           Andhra Pradesh          3568
15.  1982-83    Namdapha                Arunachal Pradesh       1985
16.  1987-88    Dudhwa                  Uttar Pradesh            811
17.  1988-89    Kalakad-Mundanthurai    Tamil Nadu               800
18.  1989-90    Valmik                  Bihar                    840
19.  1992-93    Pench                   Madhya Pradesh           758
20.  1993-94    Tadoba-Andheri          Maharashtra              620
21.  1993-94    Bandhavgarh             Madhya Pradesh          1162
22.  1994-95    Panna                   Madhya Pradesh           542
23.  1994-95    Dampha                  Mizoram                  500
     Total                                                     33126


Project Elephant

Project Elephant was launched in 1991-92 to assist States having free ranging populations of wild elephants to ensure long term survival of identified viable populations of elephants in their natural habitats. States are being given financial as well as technical and scientific assistance for achieving the objectives of the Project.

During the year an amount of Rs. 4.50 crores (app) was allocated to the elephant range States for habitat management, management of man-elephant conflict, payment of ex-gratia relief for loss of life etc., strengthening of anti-poaching measures, capture and translocation of problem elephant populations etc. Financial assistance was also provided to the States of West Bengal and Assam to capture eight problem elephants in order to reduce man-elephant conflicts. An amount of Rs. 182.41 lakhs was released during the year to the elephant range States to strengthen their antipoaching and anti depredation activities.


Central Zoo Authority

The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) continued to work for improving the upkeep and health care of zoo animals in the country. Besides organizing training programmes for Directors of Zoos, and Zoo keepers, financial assistance was also provided to various zoos to improve the animal housing, animal upkeep infrastructure and veterinary facilities. The activities of the authority during the year are as follows:-


Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Darjeeling

This Zoological Park in Darjeeling, an autonomous organisation of the State Government of West Bengal, houses and breeds a number of endangered and rare species of wild animals and birds of the Himalayan region. During the year the park continued its activities including research on the behaviour and breeding biology of the fauna of the East Himalayan region and provided visitors an opportunity to learn about the high altitude fauna and flora. Other specific activities of the park during the year are as follows:-


Animal Welfare

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) was set up in 1962 with its headquarters at Chennai, under the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (PCA Act 1960). The Board consists of 28 members representing the Government of India, the veterinary profession, municipal bodies, practitioners of modern and indigenous systems of medicines, Animal Welfare Organisations of the country and humanitarians. Two members of the Rajya Sabha and four members of the Lok Sabha are also on the Board. It is an autonomous body working under the administrative control of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The main objectives of the Board are to:-


Activities of the Board during the year were as follows: