Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to prepare a State Wildlife Action Plan. It was approved on Tuesday by the Maharashtra State Wildlife Board, chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The plan proposes comprehensive measures for protection and conservation of wildlife. The action plan has been prepared for a 10-year period from 2021 to 2030. The state plan is divided into 12 chapters, including conservation of rare species, control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife, measures and rescue work on human-wildlife conflicts, wildlife health management, conservation of territorial water ecosystems, conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems, and wildlife tourism. These include conservation awareness, strengthening public participation, research and monitoring, ensuring sustainable funding for the wildlife sector, strengthening and expanding the protected area network in the state.
According to the Chief Minister’s Office, the plan will be implemented in a timely manner by setting up a committee of government departments concerned and NGOs. State environment minister Aaditya Thackeray suggested that a monitoring committee be set up to oversee its implementation. The plan lays special focus on habitat conservation in coastal, marine and inland aquatic ecosystems and also recovery of threatened species. It encourages awareness regarding wildlife conservation, eco development, education, training, capacity building and outreach programmes, highlighting its importance and people’s participation.
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