Friday, February 3, 2012

Omar underlines preservation of State's unique fauna

Highlighting the State's rich bio-diversity and uniqueness of being land of rich fauna and flora, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Friday emphasized the need for protection and preservation of this individuality of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism.

Chairing the 2nd meeting of State Board for Wildlife (SBW), the Chief Minister, who is also its Chairman, said that measures should be in place to minimize wild animal-human conflict.

"While moving forward on development front the protection of environment, forests, wetlands, water bodies and wildlife should be underlined as compulsory requirement", he added and said that greening policy should be factored in every development project.

"We have to preserve the treasure God has bestowed to us and protect it for future generation", he said calling for coordinated and holistic approach to strike balance between development and protection of environment.

The Chief Minister said that the conditions put by the Forest and Environment Department while granting permissions for some necessary development works should be adhered to in letter and spirit. He said any laxity in this direction is not acceptable.

Omar Abdullah directed for shifting of Sheep Farm from Dachhigam to some suitable area within next three to four months. He said a Committee of the officers of State Sheep and Animal Husbandry Ministry should urgently identify the place for the Sheep Farm and the shifting should take place within the fixed time frame.

This issue was hanging in balance for many years despite the Cabinet decision in this regard. The Chief Minister's direction for its shifting would give boost to the conservation and protection of 'Hangul'.

The Chief Minister said that preservation of the natural wealth of the State should be prime concern to all of us. "In this connection Government agencies and public should be fully aware of their roles. We have to be fully sensitized for its importance", he said, adding that his Government has flagged this aspect as an important concern in its policy planning.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Legislator, Ravinder Singh, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner Secretaries, Shantmanu and Atal Duloo and Shaleen Kabra, Chief Wildlife Warden, A. K. Singh, the presidents and chairpersons of Wildlife Trust of India, Wildlife SoS, Worldwide Fund for Nature India, Wildlife Tours in India representatives from Command, Wildlife Institution of Dehrandun, Botanical Survey of India, Zoological Survey of India and public representatives.

The meeting discussed matters relating to the enhancement of ex-gratia compensation for loss of life, livestock and crop in case of wild animal-human conflict, handling and prevention of man-wild animal conflict, constitution of standing committee, setting up of solar telescope, identification and notifying of critical wildlife habitats and strengthening Wildlife Protection Department.

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