Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav urged the zoos officials across India to focus on local birds and animals as priority species for conservation. The minister was speaking at the two-day National conference for zoo directors and veterinarians organised by Central Zoo Authority.
While addressing, the minister congratulated everyone for their efforts at species conservation and reiterated the importance of all round protection of wildlife, wild habitats and the natural resources. He assured that Zoos will be an important subject for discussion during the State forest minister’s dialogue henceforth the Union Environment Minister encouraged zoos to become financially independent and consider CSR and public private partnerships and focus on local birds and animals as priority species for conservation.
The event was hosted by Sardar Patel Zoological Park, Kevadia, Gujarat. The primary aim of this national conference was to discuss and deliberate on the new frontiers in zoo management and ex-situ conservation in the country. The minister also highlighted the importance of conservation awareness and its value in conflict mitigation strategies and proposed an inclusive way forward for zoos and Nagar Vans with incorporating suggestions from zoo officials and using them to prepare short and long term action plans.
The event also witnessed the three technical sessions on day, which covered various aspects pertaining to scientific management of zoos in the country, dealing with challenges of wildlife trade and inclusion and involvement of the citizens. Kiritsinh Rana, Minister for Forest and Environment, Government of Gujarat also present at the event, and released three important publications of the Central Zoo Authority.
• Vision Plan (2021-2031) for Indian zoos to upgrade them to global standards and strengthening of Central Zoo Authority- The vision document is committed to making CZA and Indian zoos a greater force for conservation by providing unparalleled animal care, cutting edge research, and immersive visitor experiences that strike meaningful chords with people of all ages.The exhaustive 10 years vision plan has been arrived at after a very stringent data mining and stakeholder consultive process and is expected to give a direction towards ex-situ conservation approaches in India.
• WASH Manual for Zoos- Access to water and sanitation in public spaces is an essential element of sustainable WASH management . CZA in collaboration with UNICEF has now developed a Guideline to provide guidance to zoos for creating and maintaining WASH facilities within their premises for staff and visitors.
• AzadiKaAmritMahotsav – A Compilation (Vol 1)- CZA in support with the zoos across the country tool upon the themselves to follow the clarion call given by Shri Narendramodi on 12th of march 2021 to celebrate the AzadiKaAmritMahotsav. The theme for the celebration has been to showcase 75 species across 75 zoos though massive outreach programs in the 75 weeks. Since the launch of the initiative, more than 1000 hours of outreach has been achieved. To showcase and compile the same, a coffee table book style compilation of celebrations during the first 25 weeks as vol 1 was also launched today.