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Govt sanctions 20cr to save five endangered animals


The Times of India, New Delhi,9th July, 2015

Waking up to the dwindling number of certain endangered species, the  central has decided to step up efforts to protect five of them - Dugong (Sea cow), Gangetic dolphin, Great Indian Bustard, Manipur brow antler  deer (Sangai) and wild water buffalo-for now and take up other in due course.


The exercise will include taking up habitat and specie-specific conservation measures, based on global standards. The  states will also be approached  to take part in these efforts through policy intervention while keeping in mind livelihood issues. Initial assistance of Rs 20 crore has been earmarked.


The amount will increase once the government is able to unlock its Rs 38,000 crore fund by getting a proposed legislation to this effect passed during the monsoon session of Parliament.


Besides increasing  forest cover of the country, the fund lying unspent  for years with an ad hoc body Compensatory  Afforestation Fund Management  and Planning Authority  (CAMPA) is also meant to protect endangered species  of flora and fauna including conservation  of wildlife reserves and ecologically sensitive  areas.


The decision to spare Rs. 20 crore for protecting  five species  was taken on Wednesday in the meeting of the National CAMPA Advisory Council (NCAC, chaired by environment and forests minister Prakash Javadekar. The council in its meeting sanctioned Rs. 162 core out of total Rs 250 crore unspent money that had got accumulated over the past five years. Though the Supreme Court had allowed the government  to clear project works Rs. 50 crore every year, the Central could not spent the money.


Other initiatives  include creation of city forests under 200 municipal bodies across the country through 'urban forestry ‘scheme' launching of school nurseries  programme, setting up biomass-based power project in Arunachal Pradesh  and monitoring of corals and mangrove in the Islands.


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