Sunday, April 20, 2014

India News: Parties unconcerned about wildlife: Animal welfare body (7 April 2014)

Parties unconcerned about wildlife: Animal welfare body

IMPHAL: People for Animals (PFA) Thoubal, an animal welfare organization, is unhappy that none of the political parties have mentioned animal conservation in their manifestos for the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

Almost all the poll manifestos have omitted the issue of wildlife uplift in the state, one of the PFA members lamented.

Issues like employment, right, minority welfare, irrigation, power and integrity are being given due importance as those are meant for making human lives better. People are in the habit of forgetting that for a good and healthy life, a good habitat is a necessity, a PFA statement read.

"We should remember that more than 50,000 rare species are hunted or killed annually in the state. In a few years, hundreds of species would be extinct from the state and this would affect the ecology and life sustaining capacity of the state," the PFA said in a statement.

Manipur experienced early and a hotter summer this year and this is not a normal phenomena. "Human life can only sustain in the areas where different species of wild animals and plants thrive. Ways of conserving them is one of the most important agendas which the political parties should put up in their manifestos," the PFA said.

Some parties, however, spare only a few words on wildlife, environment and ecology, which only indicate the lack of political will towards the issues.

It is unfortunate that nothing on 'Sangai' (Brow-Antlered deer) has been mentioned in the manifestos. Sangai, the state animal, is incorporated in Scheduled I (the most endangered animal of the country) under the Wildlife Protection Act. Sangai should be a major agenda in the manifestos and the political parties should chalk out plans to conserve these animals more effectively, it said and added that they should also pledge to enact new schemes to protect the animal.

"We expect the manifestoes to touch upon points like modernization of forest department, implementation of new laws and regulations to control poaching, hunting, over harvesting and illegal export of wildlife from the state," the PFA said.

Priority should be given to improvement of the living standards of the people living in and around national parks, sanctuaries and forest areas of the valley and hills to minimize human trespassing on forest areas.

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