NGO seeks new national forest policy to tackle man-animal conflict

The situation gives rise to man-animal conflict which cause threats to life for animals as well as humans.
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Dehradun, July 19 (IANS) A Dehradun-based NGO working on environment and human rights issues on Friday called for bringing a new national forest policy to mitigate the man-animal conflicts which are rising in India.

“Thirty per cent of the wildlife including tigers and elephants live in the protected areas i.e. park and sanctuaries while 70 per cent live outside the protected areas. The wildlife is killed in the protected areas while outside the protected areas wildlife kills the human beings.

“Sometimes wild animals such as leopards attack children even in homes. Such cases are rising in India. The Forest Department and the government will never be able to stop them until and unless they bring a new national forest policy,” says Avadhesh Kaushal, Chairperson of Rural Litigation Entitlement Kendra (RLEK).

Kaushal pointed out that many of the schedule-1 species which are accorded the highest degree of protection under the law, are found outside notified protected areas.

Kaushal said 29 per cent of tigers live outside the tiger reserves. In Uttarakhand’s Lansdowne Forest Division, a tiger corridor between Corbett National Park and Rajaji Tiger Reserve has 22-25 tigers but is not a protected area, Kaushal said.

The situation gives rise to man-animal conflict which cause threats to life for animals as well as humans.

“It is high time we need to create awareness among people regarding the same and the government and forest department should also take adequate steps and amend the forest policy,” Kaushal said.

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