Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha chaired the third meeting of Wildlife Board for the UT of J&K, here at Raj Bhawan.

Various issues related to strengthening of measures to protect wildlife & rich ecological diversity were discussed at length, and key decisions were taken.

The meeting was attended by Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Sh Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner (Additional Chief Secretary), Agriculture Production Department; Sh. Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner/Secretary to the Government, Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment; Sh Mukesh Singh, ADGP Jammu; Dr. Mohit Gera, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF); Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Secretary to the Government, Tribal Affairs Department; Brig. V Yadav, Dy GoC, 31 Sub Area Srinagar; Sh. Suresh Gupta, PCCF/ Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K; Syed F Hamid, MD JKTDC; Dr Khurshid Ahmed, Head, Division of Wildlife Sciences, SKUAST; Sh. Nazir Benazir, President National Society on Water Resources, Wetland and Forests, J&K and other Board members, in person and through video conferencing.

The meeting deliberated on important development proposals, issues related to human-wildlife conflict and the need for better coordination and effective actions to ensure that not even a single life is lost.

Directions were passed to the Wildlife department to make a comprehensive strategy and increase awareness, especially amongst the population vulnerable to human-wildlife conflict.

Government’s prime objective is to protect Mother Nature and strike a balance between development & protection of precious civilisational legacy, said the Lt Governor.

Participation of local community is significant for the protection of biodiversity, wildlife conservation in an effective manner, promotion of nature tourism & wildlife tourism which provides employment and livelihood opportunities to local people, observed the Lt Governor.

While reviewing the implementation of Forest Rights Act, the Lt Governor directed the concerned functionaries to complete the process of granting Forest Rights, especially at the Individual level in a time bound manner.

The Lt Governor also enquired about the status of High Altitude National Park at Kishtwar and the functioning of Control Rooms, and directed the Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K to make on ground assessment of the status of the ongoing work of Jambu Zoo.

The Board members gave their valuable suggestions for conservation of wildlife and the measures to protect endangered species, promoting trekking routes, rationalizing the staff, digitization of services, fire prevention efforts & sensitization of local population.

A Pictorial Guide on Herpeto-Fauna of Jammu Region compiled by Sh Amit Sharma, ACF-Wildlife was also released on the occasion.

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