Thiruvananthapuram

Inter-State panel for wildlife protection

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy with Forest Ministers (from left) B. Ramanath Rai (Karnataka), Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, (Kerala) Jogu Ramanna (Telangana), and B. Gopalakrishna Reddy (Andhra Pradesh) at the Southern Forest Ministers’ Conference in the capital on Thursday. –Photo: S. Gopakumar

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy with Forest Ministers (from left) B. Ramanath Rai (Karnataka), Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, (Kerala) Jogu Ramanna (Telangana), and B. Gopalakrishna Reddy (Andhra Pradesh) at the Southern Forest Ministers’ Conference in the capital on Thursday. –Photo: S. Gopakumar  

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Steps to institutionalise coordination among southern States in the field of forest and wildlife

The Southern Forest Ministers’ Conference, which was held here on Thursday, decided to constitute an Inter-State Coordination Council, under which a full-time secretariat will function in the respective Forest Departments.

The decision has been made to institutionalise coordination among the southern States in the field of forest and wildlife. The Council has been mandated to issue the standard operating procedure for actions in the area. The Minister for Forests, Kerala, will be the president of the Council for the first year.

Briefing media persons after the deliberations, Minister for Forests Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said the panel took up all relevant trans-border issues for discussions. “We have reached a general understanding to work towards activities intended to curb criminal activities such as poaching of animals and smuggling of sandalwood and red sanders. Joint efforts will be undertaken for common issues that affected the bordering areas of the States,” he said.

The conference also resolved to meet periodically to continue to share information, knowledge, experiences and best practices in order to strengthen inter-State coordination arrangements. Efforts will also be made for ensuring ecological, socio-economic and livelihood security of the region. The conference also agreed to hold its next edition in Hyderabad in November.

Night traffic

Reacting to the appeal made by the Kerala government to facilitate night traffic along NH 212, Ramanath Rai, Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Karnataka, said that the issue was being studied by an expert committee.

A decision would be taken by the Karnataka government on the basis of the panel’s recommendations, he pointed out.

B. Gopalakrishna Reddy, Minister for Environment, Forest, Science and Technology, Andhra Pradesh; and Jogu Ramanna, Minister for Environment, Forests, Science and Technology, Telangana, were also present at the press conference.

Government secretaries, Heads of Forest Force, Principal Chief Conservators of Forests, Chief Wildlife Wardens and other senior officials representing the southern States participated in the conference.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 11:12:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/interstate-panel-for-wildlife-protection/article7510582.ece

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