Newdelhi:29/7/17: Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that Tiger-bearing forests play a mitigative role in combating Climate Change, besides the value of ecosystem services, provided by Tiger reserves. Addressing the Global Tiger Day celebrations at Vigyan Bhawan today, the Minister emphasized that the Tiger is a symbol of healthy environment and there can be no let-up in conservation efforts, as threats to Tigers remain ever persistent.
Addressing a large gathering comprising tiger conservationists, NGOs and students, Dr. Harsh Vardhan pointed out that the target of doubling the number of Tigers by 2022 in St Petersburg Declaration is a moderate target, but even to achieve this moderate target, nations have to be repeatedly reminded to conserve the Tiger. He added that Tiger conservation should be carried out every moment of the day and not celebrated merely as a one-day event.
A Protocol for conducting security and audit of Tiger Reserves was released by the Minister on the occasion. A Compact Disk (CD) on glimpses of Tiger conservation through Parliament questions was also released.
The Minister also presented the Conservation Assured Tiger Standards CA/TS) accreditation award to the Lansdowne Forest Division of Uttarakhand, which met the managerial standards for effective conservation of Tigers. CA|TS has been developed by WWF, working with protected area agencies in tiger range countries. A voluntary scheme for any organisation involved in tiger conservation, it is based on 17 elements, with some minimum standards and criteria for proper management of Tiger reserves.
Actor Mr. Randeep Hooda, a Tiger enthusiast, termed the Tiger as the symbol of Indian heritage. He urged people to themselves become the agents of change in this regard.
A radio jingle on Tiger conservation was also released on the occasion by the Environment Minister.
Due to the ongoing conservation efforts under Project Tiger, India has the maximum number of Tigers, along with its source areas amongst the 13 Tiger Range countries in the world. India is well on the path to contribute to the Tiger Range by the year 2022 in tune with St. Petersburg Declaration.
Forest Minister Assam, Ms. Pramila Rani Brahma, Minister of Forest and Environment of Odisha, Mr. Bijayshree Routray, Forest Minister of Chhatisgarh, Mr. Mahesh Gagda, Forest Minister of Uttarakhand, Mr. Harak Singh Rawat and Forest Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Gauri Shankar Shejwar, as well as senior officers from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Global Tiger Forum, WWF attended the celebrations and also addressed the gathering.