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The 2nd Endangered Species Recovery Programme Seminar was conducted at the Wildlife Institute of India on 23rd August, 2019. Rapidly growing anthropogenic pressures and incompatible land uses outside protected areas threatens the ecological integrity of broader land- and seascapes. Realizing the need of immediate conservation efforts to reverse the declining trend of several terrestrial and marine species, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) entrusted Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to develop guidelines for species conservation action plans. Subsequently in 2015, the MoEFCC tasked WII to prepare Endangered Species Recovery Plans (ESRP) for identified nationally and globally important species such as Dugong, Great Indian Bustard, Manipuri Deer- Sangai and Gangetic Dolphin. The MoEFCC has funded this program for an initial period of five years under the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Advisory Council.
The Endangered Species Recovery Programs are being adopting a multi-pronged approach that includes conservation research, technology aided management support, training and capacity building of the implementing agencies, monitoring of population and habitats, stakeholder sensitization and mobilization, and mitigation of threats in priority habitats. The goal of this program is to ensure long term persistence of these species in wild through multi-stakeholder partnerships wherein the conservation contribution of local community is recognized and incentivized. The program envisages a close cooperation and collaboration between different State Governments, where these species occur, and WII, key civil society organizations and MoEFCC for effective and timely implementation of the proposed conservation measures. A total of 20 presentations were made covering various aspects of conservation of this species including its status, ecology, habitat, community participation, awareness programme, etc. Dr. S.K. Khanduri, Former IGF(WL), MoEF&CC was the chairperson of the Seminar. Managers from various states and more than 200 researchers participated in this one day workshop. It was informed that the major threats to these four species have been at declining trent but getting the visual impact of this programme on population size may take 10 to 20 years as these are slow breeding animals. Dr Khanduri expressed his satisfaction about the progress of the project and appreciated the collective efforts of Wildlife Institute of India, State Forest Departments, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, CAMPA Authority of MoEF&CC, Wildlife Division of MoEF&CC and NGOs to recover these highly threated species. Earlier, Dr. K. Sivakumar welcomed the all participants including the Chairperson to the Seminar and provided background of seminar. Later, Dr Y.V. Jhala in his opening remarks explained the background of endangered species programme and its progress briefly.
Last Updated: August 24, 2019
Dr. S. Sathyakumar, Scientist-G, has been awarded the prestigious INSA Teachers Award (2019). This award has been instituted to recognise and honour teachers who have inspired students to take up careers in Science and Technology.
Last Updated: August 2, 2019
Wildlife, Environment and Elephant Quiz was organized by Wildlife Institute of India in collaboration with ENVIS Resource Partner on “Wildlife and Protected Areas” and Elephant Cell on 31st July, 2019 to commemorate World Elephant Day to be celebrated on 12th August, 2019. Various schools from Dehradun and Mussoorie participated in the quiz. A total of 36 schools participated for group I category (classes 6, 7 & 8) and 35 schools for group II (classes 9, 10 & 11), which comprised of 213 student participants.
The prizes will be awarded to the winners on the ‘World Elephant Day’ celebration program on 12th August, 2019, at the WII auditorium.
Last Updated: August 2, 2019
The National Tiger Conservation Authority, Wildlife Institute of India and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India, celebrated the International Tiger Day on 29th July, 2019, at the residence of the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India. During the event, two WII-NTCA reports viz. Fourth Cycle of Tiger Population Estimation, 2018 and Fourth Cycle of Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Tiger Reserve, 2018 were released by Hon'ble Prime Minister of India.
Releasing the 4th Cycle of MEE report on all 50 tiger reserves in the country, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India complimented the National Tiger Conservation Authority, Wildlife Institute of India and the Managers and Frontline Staff for institutionalizing the MEE process in India. India now proudly stands amongst the select group of nations that have successfully demonstrated the significance of adopting an outcome-based approach for tiger conservation.
‘Inspite of all resource constraints, India has been able to manage its tiger reserves effectively as reflected in the mean score of 70% in this assessment and none of the tiger reserve has been ranked in poor category’ said Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. He urged all managers, scientists and stakeholders engaged in tiger conservation to continue with their efforts to safeguard India’s wilderness resources.
Shri C.K. Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said that there has been a continuous improvement in the MEE ratings of Tiger Reserves, which started in 2006 and have now completed four successive cycles.
Last Updated: August 2, 2019
A one-week Asian Development Bank supported training workshop to build capacity for conserving and managing natural capital during the planning and implementation of transportation projects in South Asia was held at WII, Dehradun from 15th July to 19th July, 2019.
The key objective of the training workshop was to support the capacity building of individuals and organizations working in the implementation of Green Linear Infrastructure projects in the transportation sector in South Asia.
Transportation infrastructure projects invariably involve considerable amount of land diversion and long-term investments. These projects also have the potential to cause severe impacts to the environment and wildlife. To counter these adverse effects of developments, it is imperative to enhance capacity to address the negative impacts of linear infrastructure projects on biodiversity and harmonize conservation with development goals.
In this context, Asian development Bank has partnered with Wildlife Institute of India (WII) on the project ‘Protecting and Investing in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific’. Building capacity to promote ecologically friendly and sustainable road and rail development projects in Asia forms an important component of this project.
Shri. Parveen Pardeshi, Commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Mumbai while inaugurating the programme highlighted the need to harmonize conservation concerns with developmental imperatives. Dr V.B. Mathur, Director, WII, emphasised that capacity constraints in planning green transportation projects remain one of the biggest challenges for avoiding and mitigating potential impacts of road, rail and other transport infrastructure across South Asia. He said that the outcome of the programme would help guide responsible development in consonance with conservation of natural capital.
Twenty participants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka representing sectoral development agencies for roads and highways, railways as well as from development banks attended this programme.
Last Updated: July 19, 2019
The UNESCO Category 2 Centre for World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia and the Pacific Region at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun (UNESCO C2C at WII), inaugurated the Master’s Course in Heritage Conservation and Management on 1st July 2019. In an inaugural function, graced by Chief Guest, Dr Nitin Kumar Pethani, Vice Chancellor of Saurashtra University, and Guests of Honour, Dr G.C. Bhimani, Saurashtra University, and Dr Ravindra Singh, Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, the first batch of students were ushered in. In his welcome address, Dr G.S. Rawat, Dean, Faculty of Wildlife Science, WII, expressed his pleasure that ten enthusiastic, motivated students from diverse backgrounds have been selected for this course (see profile: link http://wii.gov.in/msc_student_heritage) and wished them the best for the term of their stay at WII. Dr V.B. Mathur, Director, WII, in his opening remarks explained on how the UNESCO C2C developed the course in line with the education mandate of the Centre. He emphasised that this course is interdisciplinary in nature and advances the sustainability science through the prism of heritage and will train students to evolve into competent heritage professionals. He added that the course is designed to combine theoretical and methodological integration of ecological sciences, social sciences, humanities and heritage studies. The students of the 1st Batch of Master’s Course in Heritage Conservation and Management were introduced by the Course Director, Dr Malvika Onial. Dr G.C. Bhimani welcomed the students of both the courses and enlightened the audience on the importance of the day of 1st July in history as the beginning of Van Mahotsav in our country every year. Subsequently, Dr Ravindra Singh expressed his hope for the students to successfully complete their course and contribute to natural and cultural heritage conservation. Finally, Dr Nitin Kumar Pethani emphasized the need and importance of this course in enhancing the capacity for heritage protection and management.
Last Updated: July 18, 2019
On the occasion of World Heritage Day 2019, 18th April, the UNESCO Category 2 Centre on World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia and the Pacific Region at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun (UNESCO C2C at WII) organised the release of an anthology of nature writing titled “Wild Treasures: Reflections on Natural World Heritage Sites in Asia” at WII, Chandrabani, Dehradun. The anthology, published in collaboration between Aryan Publishers and UNESCO C2C at WII, focuses on areas of exceptional natural value, around Asia, identified as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO and is edited by Prerna Singh Bindra, Dr. Sonali Ghosh and Anuranjan Roy. It ties together vignettes from the past by stalwarts like Salim Ali on Bharatpur & Frank Sydney Smythe on the Valley of Flowers; renowned authors like Amitav Ghosh on the Sundarbans and writings by researchers, conservationists, and officials currently in the field, thereby highlighting the present conservation status and challenges facing these landscapes. The Chief Guest at the function, Dr. Sanjeev Chopra, Director, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie spoke of the importance of the conservation of nature without which we would lose the concept of beauty. Guest of Honour, Dr. Asad R. Rahmani, Former Director, Bombay Natural History Museum, Mumbai, stressed to the packed hall of students, researchers, faculty and book lovers of the need to pursue knowledge and not fame.
Last Updated: April 30, 2019
The Spring 2019 (January-March, 2019) Issue of the Natural Heritage Bulletin published by UNESCO C2C at WII was formally released during the 7th Annual Coordination Meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage related Category 2 Institutes & Centres held on 22-23 April 2019 at the Arab Regional Centre - World Heritage (ARC-WH) Headquarters in Manama, Bahrain."
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Last Updated: April 24, 2019
An event “Clean Ganga Movement” was organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) on 27th February 2019, at Dr. D.S. Kothari Auditorium, DRDO Bhawan. Hon’ble Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affair, Government of India, Shri Arun Jailtely, was the Chief Guest of the event. The event was presided by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport Highways & Shipping, Government of India. The dignitaries on the dais included Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Hon’ble Minster of State Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India, Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and Human Resources Development, Government of India, Smt. Hema Malini, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Smt. M.C. Mary Kom, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Shri U.P. Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Trichur Brothers – Shri Srikrishna Mohan and Shri Ramkumar Mohan, Shri Prasoon Joshi, Chairperson, Central Board for Film Certification, Shri Rajeev Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga.
The “Pravasi Ganga Prahari programme and its website ("https://nmcg.nic.in/pravasigangaprahari.html”), the floating interpretation centre at Varanasi “Ganga Tarini” and interpretation centre at Sarnath “Ganga Darpan” were inaugurated by Shri Arun Jaitley. Pravasi Ganga Prahari programme aims to actively engage non-resident Indians, foreigners and global citizens as “Pravasi Ganga Praharis” through activities that would assist NMCG’s efforts in Ganga conservation. “Ganga Darpan” an interpretation centre has been setup in the premises of Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Sarnath, while “Ganga Tarini” is a floating exhibition in Varanasi. These centres showcase the Ganga River as an integral part of our lives since ancient times. These interpretation centres will sensitize people about the role of aquatic biodiversity in keeping the Ganga River clean and the threats faced by the Ganga River and its biodiversity. These centres will serve as knowledge and activity centres.
Afterwards the publications “Biodiversity Profile of Ganga River”, “Conservation Reference Guide Rescue and Rehabilitation of Freshwater Turtles and Crocodilians”, “Pravasi Ganga Prahari brochure”, were released by the dignitaries on the dais. The book “Biodiversity Profile of Ganga River” provides information on the distribution and abundance of select aquatic species of Ganga River based on intensive sampling of 32 sites, from Harshil in Uttarakhand to Ganga Sagar in West Bengal. While the conservation guide presents concise and practical information on the protocols and processes for the scientific and ethical handling of freshwater turtles and crocodilians in distress. This guide will be helpful in following the appropriate procedure and addressing emergent situations scientifically.
These interpretation centres and publications are significant output of the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” funded by the National Mission for Clean Ganga. During this event the dignitaries appealed for clean Ganga through actions and also by monetary contributions to the Clean Ganga Fund.
Last Updated: March 12, 2019
A Two-week Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) sponsored ‘Professional Development Programme (PDP) for Enhancing EIA effectiveness’ is being conducted at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun from 25th February to 8th March, 2019.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a management tool used by decision-makers, regulators and stakeholders to understand the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of proposed development projects. Experience from EIA review suggest that there are some inherent gaps when it comes to incorporating biodiversity concerns in impact assessments.
In this context, the Professional Development Programme (PDP) has been designed for MoEFCC officials involved in reviewing EIA reports and engaged in environmental decision-making. The programme is intended to significantly contribute to the professional development of these officials so that biodiversity concerns are mainstreamed in the decision making for enhancing the effectiveness of EIA as a tool against a background of rapidly declining natural heritage.
Shri N. Ravi Shanker, Former Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand while inaugurating the programme highlighted on the need to harmonize conservation concerns with developmental imperatives. Dr V.B. Mathur, Director, WII, emphasised that capacity constraints in EIA remain one of the biggest challenges for straightforward and clear recommendations as an outcome of EIA appraisals. He said that the outcome of the programme would help guide responsible development in consonance with conservation of natural resources.
28 officials from MoEFCC, State Forest Departments and Pollution Control Boards are participating in this programme.
Last Updated: February 26, 2019