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Cross-border poaching threat to conservation efforts: PM

September 06, 2012 20:14 IST

Viewing poaching with cross-border linkages as a 'major problem' to wildlife conservation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked intelligence and enforcement

agencies to coordinate better to break the nexus between those involved in the illegal activity and their markets.

He noted the criticality of 'voluntary and fair' relocation of settlements in protected areas for wildlife conservation but admitted that lack of adequate funds for such purposes is an 'issue' and needed to be discussed with states.

He asked the environment ministry to strengthen the regional offices by inducting wildlife experts not only to monitor the implementation of wildlife schemes but also to ensure strict adherence to conditions of wildlife clearances.

A proposal is also under process for expanding the number of regional offices, field units and forensic labs of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau besides creation of a national database on wildlife crime and criminals, Singh said.

The government would try its best to ensure adequate allocations under schemes aimed at achieving policy objectives related to conservation of wildlife habitats, he said addressing a meeting of National Board for Wildlife in New Delhi.

"Poaching is a major problem affecting our wildlife conservation efforts," Singh said.

Talking about cross-border linkages, he said the demand for body parts and derivatives of wild animals is posing a 'serious threat to our conservative efforts'.

To counter this threat, "We need greater coordination between the intelligence agencies and enforcement agencies", Singh said.

He said international cooperation, including joint efforts with China, Nepal and Russia for tiger conservation, 'also needs to be intensified to break the nexus between poachers and illegal wildlife markets."

PTI
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