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Minister to chair tiger conservation authority

Special Correspondent

It will be a 13-member body responsible for implementing Project Tiger plan

  • The Authority will set guidelines for protection of tigers in reserves, parks and sanctuaries
  • It will monitor tiger estimation and carry out disease surveillance
  • Safeguards provided to protect interests of people living in forests and in and around tiger reserves

    NEW DELHI: The National Tiger Conservation Authority, to be set up for protecting the endangered big cats, will be a 13-member body headed by the Union Environment and Forests Minister. The Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 is being amended to provide for constituting the Authority that will be responsible for implementing the Project Tiger conservation plan.

    The Authority will have eight experts with experience in wildlife conservation and welfare of people including the indigenous tribes, besides three Members of Parliament (two from Lok Sabha and one from Rajya Sabha). The Inspector General of Forests, in-charge of Project Tiger, will be the ex-officio member secretary, according to an Environment and Forest Ministry spokesperson.

    Entrusted with the task of laying down norms for tiger conservation, the Authority will also set guidelines for protection of tigers in the tiger reserves, the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. It will provide information on measures to be taken for protection of tigers, draft the conservation plan, monitor tiger estimation, and carry out disease surveillance, besides conducting mortality survey, patrolling, and other such management aspects as it may deem fit.

    The Authority will also facilitate and support tiger reserve management in the States through eco-development and people's participation as per approved management plans, and support similar initiatives in adjoining areas consistent with the Central and State laws, the spokesperson said.

    The Tiger Conservation Authority will be required to prepare an Annual Report, which will be laid in the Parliament along with the Audit Report.

    Steering committees

    State-level steering committees will be set up in the States having a tiger population, under the chairmanship of respective Chief Ministers. As recommended by the Tiger Task Force constituted by the Prime Minister, this has been done with a view to ensuring coordination, monitoring and protection of tigers in the States.

    A provision has been made for the State Governments to prepare a Tiger Conservation Plan, which would include staff and its deployment, to ensure protection of tiger reserves while ensuring compatible forestry operations in adjoining areas. Further, safeguards have been provided for ensuring that the agricultural, livelihood, developmental and other interests of the people living inside a forest or in and around a tiger reserve are protected. The core as well as buffer areas have been explicitly explained to avoid ambiguity. Provision will be made for the States to establish a Tiger Conservation Foundation. The proposed Foundation is a Trust, which would be constituted as per the appropriate statutory provisions in vogue in the State.

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