Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday released the Management Effectiveness Assessment (MEE) report of 146 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the country, claiming that 70% of the world’s tiger population and over 60% of the leopard population in India is a certificate of its thriving biodiversity.
The Minister also announced that from this year, ten best national parks, five coastal and marine parks and the five best zoos in the country will be ranked and awarded each year.
‘Seventy percent of the world’s tiger population, 70 percent of Asiatic lions and over 60 percent of the leopard population’ in India is a certificate of India’s flourishing biodiversity, as these big cats are at the top of the food chain and their increasing numbers show the well-being of the entire ecosystem, ”Javadekar said when the report was released for the first time.
According to the MEE report, Jaldapara National Park in West Bengal and Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary, Sainj and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuaries in Himachal Pradesh as well as the Great Himalayan National Park were declared as the top five national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.
Two wildlife sanctuaries at UP – Turtle WLS and Jai Prakash Narayan Bird sanctuary – and one each in Haryana, Assam and Rajasthan rank in the bottom five.
At present, India has a network of 903 protected areas covering about 5% of the total land area of the country. In order to assess the effectiveness of protected areas, a management effectiveness assessment is needed, the ministry said.
Protected area (PA) management effectiveness assessment (MEE) has become a key tool for PA managers and is increasingly used by governments and international organizations to understand the strengths and weaknesses in protected area management systems, he said.
“MEE is a very important document which provides valuable advice on various aspects of wildlife and protected areas … A new framework for MEE of marine protected areas has also been jointly prepared by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the ministry. be a very useful document to implement, ”the ministry said.
The Indian National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries Assessment Process was adopted from the Management Effectiveness Assessment Framework (MEE) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN ) of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).
There are 30 “Core Indicators” developed under six elements of the MEE framework appropriate in the Indian context for evaluation.
Each “ global indicator ” had four possible responses, “ poor ” (score 2.5), “ fair ” (score 5), “ good ” (score 7.5) and “ very good (score 10) to choose for the evaluation. The total score would be 300 including a maximum score of all questions.
Ratings are assigned in four categories, such as poor – up to 40 percent; Fair – 41 to 59 percent; Good – 60 to 74 percent; Very good – 75 percent and above.
The Minister of the Environment also launched the Indian Zoo Management Effectiveness Assessment Framework (MEE-ZOO) which provides guidelines, criteria and indicators for the assessment of zoos in the country in a manner discreet, holistic and independent.
Assessment criteria and indicators go beyond traditional concepts, include issues of animal welfare, husbandry and sustainability of resources and funding.
“The MEE-ZOO exercise is geared towards developing the highest standards in zoos across India and upholding the core values of accountability, transparency, innovation, use of technology, collaboration and integrity to achieve the endangered species conservation mandate, ”he said.
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