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Addressing Human-Wildlife Conflicts: Union Minister Bhupender Yadav’s Initiatives

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Kerala: In response to escalating human-wildlife conflicts in Kerala’s Wayanad District, Union Minister Bhupender Yadav spearheaded efforts to address the pressing issue. Undertaking a field visit to Bandipur National Park and Wayanad, Yadav convened a crucial meeting with stakeholders, including local representatives, forest officials, and wildlife experts, on 22nd February 2024.

During the meeting, Bhupender Yadav discussed mitigation strategies with people’s representatives and key officials, emphasizing the need for inter-state coordination and capacity building. He highlighted the importance of cooperation among Southern states and pledged support for the capacity building of frontline staff to enhance early warning systems and deploy modern technology for effective wildlife management.

“Furthermore, Bhupender Yadav announced initiatives to support corridor management planning and the creation of elephant-proof fences at specific locations. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change sanctioned substantial funding to Kerala for implementing mitigation measures, including elephant-proof walls, under various schemes”.

Notably, the Central Government enhanced ex-gratia payments for human casualties from Rs 5.0 lakh to Rs 10.0 lakh, emphasizing transparent and immediate disbursement by the State Government. Yadav also clarified the provisions under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, empowering state authorities to take necessary actions to manage human-wildlife conflicts.

In line with these initiatives, Bhupender Yadav outlined plans to develop the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) as a hub for assisting states in conflict mitigation. Additionally, the Wildlife Institute of India will collaborate with Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu to devise corridor management plans.

Union Minister Bhupender Yadav’s proactive measures underscore the government’s commitment to addressing human-wildlife conflicts and safeguarding both communities and wildlife in Kerala and neighboring regions.

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