The Global Tiger Day came with loads of good news for India on tiger conservation front!
The All India Tiger Estimation-2018, released by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today showed a 33% increase in the tiger population, putting the number of tigers at 2,967. India has achieved the target of doubling tiger population four years before the deadline of 2022 agreed upon at St Petersberg in 2010 the countries agreed to a Global Tiger Recovery Program.
This `historic achievement’ prompted the Prime Minister to say: “It is not enough that tiger zinda hai….’’ Tiger Zinda Hai is a popular Bollywood movie. He further went to on say that the song “Baagon mein bahaar hai….(It is springtime….) should now be replaced by “Bhaagon mein bahaar hai…. (It is springtime for tigers)
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister described this as a historic achievement for India, and reaffirmed India’s commitment towards protecting the tiger. Appreciating the speed and dedication with which various stakeholders worked to achieve this feat, he described it as one of the finest examples of Sankalp Se Siddhi. Once the people of India decide to do something, there is no force that can prevent them from getting the desired results, he said.
The Prime Minister said that with almost 3000 tigers, India is today among the biggest and most secure habitats.
According to the census, Madhya Pradesh saw the highest number of tigers at 526, closely followed by Karnataka at 524 and Uttarakhand at number 3 with 442 tigers. In five years, the number of protected areas increased from 43 to 100.
While the 2014 census put the Big Cats number at 2,226, the number was 1,706 in 2010 and even lesser at 1,411 in 2006.
Mr Modi asserted that the way ahead is “collectiveness” instead of “selectiveness.” He said that a broad-based and holistic look is essential for environmental conservation. He said, it is possible to strike a healthy balance between development and environment. “In our policies, in our economics, we have to change the conversation about conservation,” he added.
India will build more homes for our citizens and that the same time create quality habitats for animals. India will have a vibrant marine economy and a healthier marine ecology. This balance is what will contribute to a strong and inclusive India, the Prime Minister asserted.
He expressed confidence that India will prosper both economically and environmentally; India will build more roads and India will have cleaner rivers; India will have better train connectivity and also greater tree coverage.
He said that in the last five years, while work has proceeded at a fast pace for next-generation infrastructure, the forest cover in the country has also grown. There has also been an increase in the “protected areas.” In 2014, there were 692 protected areas, which increased to more than 860 in 2019. The “Community Reserves” have also grown from 43, in 2014, to more than 100 now.
He said that India is making a sustained effort to make its economy “clean-fuel based” and “renewable energy based.” He said “waste” and “bio-mass” are being made a big part of India’s energy security. He mentioned the progress made in schemes such as “Ujjwala” and “Ujala” for LPG connections and LED bulbs, respectively.
The Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Mr Prakash Javdekar; the Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Mr Babul Supriyo; and the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Mr C.K. Mishra, were present on the occasion.