World Wildlife Day is celebrated on 3 March which is the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It celebrates and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. Similarly, it reminds us of the vital need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has widespread economic, environmental and social impacts. A report by INTERPOL estimates that the wildlife trade is between 7 billion to 23 billion.
World Wildlife Day | Wildlife Protection in India
- All signatories who have adopted to CITES are efficiently preserving their wildlife. In India there is a dedicated law named theWildlife Protection Act, 1972 which is seldom followed. The essential amount of protection which should be given to an animal is not in place.
- Unfortunately, the conservation of wildlife is focused only on mainstream animals like tiger, lion, elephant, rhinoceros etc. India has a huge biodiversity which exists beyond these animals but there are little efforts towards the protection of it. These species need to be conserved.
- The issue with the Wildlife Protection Act is that there are only 6 schedules and the number of species covered is minuscule whereas the recorded number of species in India is extensive.
- There is almost nil awareness about the wildlife which is a flaw in the policy. In this effort of protection of wildlife, the preference has to be given to the species which are endangered. Whereas in the Wildlife Protection Act, the protection to the Schedule 1 animal is more as compared with the other schedules. It doesn’t mean that the animals in the other schedules need no protection, they should also be protected equally.
- It should be realised that we have limited landmass and we need to accommodate our population of humans and wildlife. It would also depend on how human beings react to the issue of wildlife, who are not active participants in either government or civil society groups like NGO’s.
World Wildlife Day | What should be done?
- To enhance an efficient protection of our biodiversity, we should bring the species recorded by Zoological Survey of India annually, into the mainstream so that they are conserved in an efficient manner.
- All the constituent species have to be in a very healthy state and all species have to coexist in a healthy ecosystem. For instance, the tiger can only exist when the constituent species in the ecosystem wouldHence, there should be equal focus on tiger and other species in the ecosystem.
- It is good that we have a stringent law for the wildlife protection but rather than celebrating the Wildlife day as a one-day event the Wildlife protection has to be sustained throughout the year.
- Government can enhance the scale of awareness campaign at the state, district and at the local level. It is a fact that people do not even know whom to approach whenever any wildlife related crime takes place which have needs to be addressed immediately.
- It is well-known that mindset can be shaped at the elementary level itself. Unfortunately, the teachings about environment conservation in schools are confined only to the syllabus and textbooks with little student-teacher participation. We should take the children to the forest and biodiversity areas and enhance their learning experience to make them realise the true potential of our rich biodiversity.
- Unplanned urbanisation is taking the shape of man-animal conflict and we can not find fault of wild animals in this issue. Rather than merely protecting the protected areas, National parks, wildlife sanctuaries and biosphere reserves we should to conserve the entire The issue of man-animal conflict would also be reduced and the larger biodiversity would be protected in return.