Does India need more National parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in 2021?

National parks: A park for the conservation of natural, semi-natural, or devoted land owned by a national government. In India, these parks are governed and regulated by the central govt. In 1936, Hailey was established as the first park in India, now it is known as Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand. See the list of National Parks in India……

 

Wildlife Sanctuary: A protected and surrounded area for animal habitats, the area is restricted for capturing, killing, and poaching of animals. See the list of Wildlife Sanctuary in India……

Now the question is, do we need more National parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India?

In a word the answer is a big No…We don’t need more Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks in our country. India is one of the 12 mega-diversity countries in the world. According to MOEF (Govt. of India) in 2011-12 records 47,000 species of plants and 81,000 species of animals which is about 7% and 6.5% respectively of global flora and fauna. At present we have 17 Biosphere reserves, 104 National Parks, 515 Wildlife Sanctuaries, and 120 Botanical gardens in our country covering 4% of the geographic area. We know that a lot of animals and plants are going to extinct. We also know that the National parks and Wildlife sanctuaries are important aspects of the identity of the nation. We have already several Acts and Conservation projects in India but not well implemented. A large number of cases and conspiracies behind the establishment of National parks and Sanctuaries are arising questions on our governing system.

Some cases are:

The Tribals belong to the Tharu community in 142 villages in Bihar in the ‘Valmiki Tiger Reserve’ area, the district of West Champaran in Bihar feel that they have been deprived of their legitimate ancestral rights to collect firewood and fodder from the forest. Their employment has also been snatched by authority due to the ‘Project Tiger’ initiative. The Jobless villagers feel cheated. They are being misused by foreign agents and found to indulge in the destruction of forest and forest wealth in connivance with foreign agents who supply them arms and ammunition for illegal logging and poaching.

A woman of Tharu community Image Source: Wikipedia
A woman of Tharu community                                                                      Image Source: Wikipedia

The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala has caused the displacement of 53,472 tribal families. At the time of this initiation, it was decided to transfer the land to these tribal families in order to settle them. However, till 2003 only 843 could get the land. As a result of this, the tribal felt cheated and in January-2003 they encroached into the forest in large numbers, cut down the trees, started constructing huts, and digging well causing a violent encounter with the forest official, ultimately causing injuries and deaths to the people.

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Muthanga Range, Kerala                           Image Source: Wikipedia

There are many issues, but corruption and rehabilitation behind the establishment and operating of parks are very critical issues in our nation. In order to stop a local tribal to become criminals, an effort should be made in terms of compensation or providing jobs to the locals. So, Instead of making more National parks and Sanctuaries, the security of existing National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries should be upgraded. More secret CCTV cameras should be installed, corrupt officers should be removed from their posts. We should strictly follow the Wildlife Protection Act-1972 and UN Declaration on Human Rights {Article 25 (1)} Acts for trying to reserve the existing parks, sanctuaries and ensure the safety of human being.

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