NEW DELHI: Environment Minister Anil Dave today said India has 70 per cent of the world’s lion population, with spirited conservation methods taking their numbers to 2,400 at present.
Speaking on the ‘World Wildlife Day’ organized by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) at the Delhi zoo here, he noted that wildlife conservation in the country goes back in history.
“India does not need lessons in wildlife conservation as we are the pioneers in this field. It is due to the spirited campaign of people that we have registered a tremendous growth in the population of many vulnerable species.
“India has the largest population of lions in the world.
We have a whooping 2,400 lions at present. Similar success has been achieved in case of tigers and other species also,” he said.
“Thus, it is our responsibility to set a good example for others to follow. It is our duty to develop a healthy attitude towards wildlife conservation and fight those who indulge in illegal activities,” he said.
MaryKay L Carlson, Charge’ D’ Affairs, American Embassy, who was also present at the event, underlined the importance of local communities in preserving the planet.
“All preservation is local. It starts with individuals and moves on to families and villages. It is important to acknowledge the role of local communities in safeguarding the nature,” she said.
Many schools and colleges of the national capital participated in the event with students winning prizes for slogan writing and paintings based on the theme of wildlife conservation.
WCCB chief Tilottama Verma said the event was aimed at spreading the message of environment protection among the youngsters.
The illegal animal products seized from poachers were also burnt in an incinerator at the zoo as part of the event.
Noting that wildlife has an intrinsic value, Dave said it also contributes to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific and human well-being.
“MoEF&CC remains committed to conserving wildlife. Budget allocation increased from Rs 475 crore last year to Rs 522.50 crore,” he tweeted.–PTI