Wednesday, May 06, 2009

National security tied to wildlife security

National security tied to wildlife security

Express News Service First Published : 06 May 2009 02:24:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 06 May 2009 09:04:54 AM IST

CHENNAI: The relationship between trade in drugs, arms and wildlife was discussed at a regional consultation meeting of key forest officials, scientists, conservationists and representatives of NGOs. The meeting was organised by Sanctuary, The Wildlife Conservation Trust, Mumbai, and the Bengal Tiger Line, in association with the Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Monday.

The recommendations of the two-day meeting will be presented at a conference in Delhi, and it will be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office. Participants are also planning to stage a march for the cause in Delhi later this year.

Bittu Sahgal, principal organiser of the programme, said that the recommendations would connect the issue of national security with wildlife security, as a pattern of relationship between drugs, arms and wildlife trade was emerging across the world. He said that the participants were able to share their problems on the implementation of conservation policies.

Some recommendations arrived at the consultation meeting were: countering wildlife trade at the international and local levels, securing and expanding the critical tiger habitat network, village resettlement, scientific methodology for park management, restoration of natural habitats, and, increasing finance for these projects.

“Saving the tiger is a metaphor for conservation. When you save a tiger, you are restoring the natural habitat, saving over 200 rivers, increasing forest cover and trees, absorbing more carbon, allowing other species to survive and prepare for the effects of climate change,’’ said Sahgal.

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