Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 12:
Odisha government yesterday signed MoU with Wildlife Trust of India to prepare a comprehensive wildlife management plan for protection and management of rich wildlife resources and many endangered wildlife species inhabiting the forests and aquatic eco-systems of the state.
The MoU was signed between the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (WL), Odisha Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) here. Odisha CWLW SS Srivastava and WTI Executive Director Vivek Menon signed the MoU in the presence of Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha. The plan will be prepared at a cost of Rs 3.65 crore and completed within 15 months.
The proposed plan would identify and map key biological resources and their connectivity across the landscape, restore degraded or lost habitats essential for animals’ persistence and movement, reduce animal mortality by humans by reducing wild animal-human conflicts, mitigating mortality of wild animals due to train hits, reduce deliberate and targeted killing of wild animals and by electrocution, conservation of wildlife at grassroots level by involving and strengthening of loval level institutions and citizens groups, optimize manpower and infrastructure requirements of the state for prevention of wildlife crimes and better prosecution.
Notably, the state has 19 sanctuaries and two national parks notified under the provisions of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. These protected areas constitute 10.37 % of the total forest area and 5.36% of the total geographical area of the state.