NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a three-day mega event on April 9 in Mysuru, Karnataka to commemorate 50 years of Project Tiger, an official said.
“A mega event to commemorate 50 years of Project Tiger will be held by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change. Prime Minister’s Modi presence is solicited to grace the inaugural session of the mega event on 9th April 2023 at Mysuru, Karnataka,” a Ministry of Environment official said in a release.
While addressing a press briefing on Friday, the official stated that the proposed event will convey the message of India’s commitment to wildlife conservation.
“On 1st April 2023, Project Tiger completes 50 years during the Amritkal, signifying peace, prosperity, development and conservation in sync with the Prime Minister’s vision of Mission LiFE. To commemorate, at this juncture, with 2023 being 50 years after launching Project Tiger, it is pertinent that a mega event be organized to showcase India’s tiger conservation success globally to garner more political and public support for tiger conservation,” the official said.
The official further stated that during the event, apart from the Tiger Census, a commemorative coin release is also proposed.
“During the inaugural session, the following releases are proposed: Declaration of Tiger estimation number, Release of Management Effective Evaluation (2022) of Tiger Reserves and Amrit Kal ka Vision for Tiger conservation, and release of a commemorative coin. Considering the unprecedented achievement in the field of wild tiger conservation under the aegis of Project Tiger spanning over 5 decades, the proposed event provides an opportunity for conveying the message of India’s commitment to conserving wildlife to the world,” the official said.
Tiger is an apex predator that requires vast habitat to harbour viable populations and by virtue of this serves as an umbrella species for conserving India’s forest systems ensuring viable populations of other endangered species. As a national animal, the tiger is a pride for society and is historically intricately associated with India’s ethos, art, culture, sculpture and literature, the release said.
In the ecological food chain, the tiger plays a crucial role in maintaining the ecological viability of the entire area, habitat, water, and climate security of the region. However, the species faced enormous threats such as organized poaching for illegal wildlife trade, habitat destruction & fragmentation, and lack of technical and financial support at the field level.
Taking cognizance of factors affecting the survival of the iconic species ‘tiger’ in the wild, the Government of India launched Project Tiger on 1st April 1973 to promote the conservation of the tiger, at Corbett National Park. Since its launch, Project Tiger has consistently helped in restoring the tiger population and strengthening conservation efforts for tigers, the release said.
The initial coverage of Project Tiger included 9 tiger reserves spread over 18,278 sq km which has expanded many folds and today India has 53 tiger reserves covering more than 75,000 sq km (approximately 2.4% of the country’s geographical area) of tiger habitat. These tiger reserves are repositories for biodiversity conservation in the country ensuring regional water security and carbon sequestration thereby contributing to accomplishing India’s climate change mitigation targets, it said.
With a current population of about 3,000 tigers, India harbours more than 70% global wild tiger population and the population is increasing at an annual rate of 6%. The success of India in conserving and doubling its wild tiger population in a span of about 12 years (much before the targeted year of 2022 as per the (St. Petersburg Declaration) is commendable especially when the tiger is highly threatened globally due to the high illegal demand for its body parts, it said.
The story of the remarkable growth of the tiger has been made possible due to an intensive protection regime, science-based management interventions, wildlife health care, the use of state-of-the-art technology in minimizing and preventing human-tiger interface issues, and the local community participation through eco-development and conservation initiatives.
The significant gains made under Project Tiger have made it one of the most successful conservation projects for large carnivores in the world. (ANI)