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| Last Updated:: 03/10/2017

Centre launches six-year secure Himalaya project







New Delhi: The Centre on Monday launched a six-year project to ensure conservation of locally and globally significant biodiversity, land and forest resources in the high Himalayan ecosystem spread over four states in India. 




Protection of snow leopard and other endangered species and their habitats is one of the key components of the project which will also focus on securing livelihoods of the people in the region and enhancing enforcement to reduce wildlife crime. 




The project - called SECURE Himalaya - was launched by the Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the inaugural day of the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference here. 




The SECURE - securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems - is meant for specific landscapes. It include Changthang (Jammu and Kasmir), Lahaul - Pangi and Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh), Gangotri - Govind and Darma - Byans Valley in Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand) and Kanchenjunga - Upper Teesta Valley (Sikkim). 




Enhanced enforcement efforts and monitoring under the project will also curb illegal trade in some medicinal and aromatic plants which are among the most threatened species in these landscapes. 




The minister on the occasion also launched India Wildlife mobile App and released the country's National Wildlife Action Plan for the period 2017-2031. The Plan focuses on preservation of genetic diversity and sustainable development through 103 wildlife conservation actions and 250 projects. 




Strengthening and improving protected area network; landscape level approach for wildlife conservation; control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife; mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts and management of tourism in wildlife areas are among the key focus areas of the national plan. 




Referring to the plan, Union environment secretary, Ajay Narayan Jha, noted that the issues like integrating climate change in wildlife planning; wildlife health management and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems are some of the new issues which have been included in this third national wildlife action plan. 




Besides India, representatives and wildlife experts from 18 countries are participating in the Global Wildlife Programme conference. Jha said that the Conference would provide a platform to build strategic partnerships among all the 19 nations and enable India to strengthen its enforcement mechanism to control wildlife trafficking. 




Some of the issues that will be discussed during the Conference on Tuesday include leveraging partnerships to promote shared benefits on public-private partnerships and opportunities in wildlife-based tourism. The Programme is a World-Bank led partnership that promotes conservation and sustainable development by combating illicit trafficking in wildlife.








Source: The Times of India