Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav today released the population estimation protocol to be adopted in the exercise to be taken up for the All India elephant and tiger population estimation in 2022. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), for the first time is converging elephant and tiger population estimation, the protocol for which was released today on the occasion of World Elephant Day.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Environment Minister stressed on the involvement of local and indigenous people in the Conservation of elephants and said that a bottom up approach is the way forward, which will also help in minimizing Human-Elephant Conflict as well.
He said that there has been a pressing need to improve and harmonize the population estimation methods along more scientific lines in various states across India and expressed happiness that the Ministry for the first time is converging both elephant and tiger population estimation.
Minister of State, Ashwinin Kumar Chaubey while addressing the gathering stated that Saving Elephants is saving forests and saving forests leads to saving the entire ecosystems and exhorted all especially the youth to nurture and carry forward the traditional ethos of Indian culture of living in harmony with Nature and wildlife.
The programme also witnessed release of the fourth edition of the quarterly newsletter “Trumpet” of the Elephant Division of the Ministry by both the dignitaries. To highlight on the various conservation regimes adopted across country by the State Forest Departments as well as institutions and organizations, Project Elephant Division and Elephant Cell releases the quarterly newsletter “Trumpet”. This edition of the newsletter articulates the need for landscape approach for synchronized elephant population enumeration.
The Ministry also partnered with WII, NMNH, WWF-India and WTI in organsing the week long programme of “Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” as a precursor to the World Elephant Day, 2021. The winners of the online painting and essay competition were also announced by the Ministers.
Asian elephants are listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. This has been done as most of the range states except India, have lost their viable elephant populations due to loss of habitats & poaching etc. The current population estimates indicate that there are about 50,000 -60000 Asian elephants in the world. More than 60 % of the population is held in India.
Indian Elephant has also been listed in the Appendix I of the Convention of the Migratory species in the recently concluded Conference of Parties of CMS 13 at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat in February 2020.
World Elephant Day is being celebrated to bring attention of various stakeholders to support various conservation policies to help elephants, including improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and reintroducing some captive elephants into sanctuaries. Elephant is the Natural Heritage Animal of India and India also celebrates this day to spread awareness towards conservation of the species.