Centre allows fencing around forest: Prakash Javadekar

Fencing around forest areas permitted under centrally sponsored schemes: Prakash Javadekar tells LS

The Centre on Friday said it has permitted fencing around forest areas to ensure the safety of people living in adjacent villages from attacks by wild animals.

Responding to a question raised in the Lok Sabha, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the government is providing financial and technical assistance to state governments for activities like erection of physical barriers around forest areas to avoid man-animal conflict.

"The Central government supplements the efforts of state governments by providing financial and technical assistance to the state/UT governments under various centrally sponsored schemes for management of wildlife," said the minister in his written reply to a question asked by BSP MP Malook Nagar.

"Activities such as construction/erection of physical barriers, such as barbed wire fence, solar-powered electric fence, bio-fencing etc. are permitted under the schemes for ensuring the safety of people living near forest areas," he added.

The environment minister also said that as per the state forest department of Uttar Pradesh, six persons have lost their lives in the man-leopard conflict in Bijnaur District alone in the year 2019-2020.

Replying to another question on ensuring the safety of wild animals and adequate food for them to prevent them from entering residential areas, the minister said the Centre has taken a number of steps regarding the same.

"A network of Protected Areas (PAs) namely, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, conservation reserves and community reserves covering important wildlife habitat have been created all over the country by the respective states/UTs under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to conserve wild animals and their habitats," he said.

"The ministry has issued guidelines in the context of human-wildlife conflict to the chief wildlife wardens of all the states/UT administrations," Javadekar said.

Elaborating on the measures, the minister said periodic awareness campaigns are organised to sensitize, guide and advise the general public on human-wildlife conflict, including dissemination of information through various forms of media.

"Ministry through its Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) namely Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (IDWH) provides funds to states and UTs for carrying out various activities for habitat improvement works namely restoration of natural water bodies, creation of artificial ponds, waterholes, augmenting food/fodder sources at various places within protected areas to minimise the human-animal conflict," he said. 

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