Topic of the Day – Third National Wildlife Action Plan

Wildlife conservation and biodiversity are important topics in the environment and ecology sections in the UPSC exam. Every year, an increasing number of questions are being asked from this section in both the IAS prelims and the IAS mains exams. In this article, you can read about the Third National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP).

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) announced the third National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031. The Wildlife Action Plans are envisaged to conserve and protect wildlife in India through the protected-area centric approach. Protected areas are well-defined geographical spaces, recognised through legal and other means, to achieve long-term conservation of nature with its associated ecosystem.

The first Wildlife Action Plan was released for 1983 to 2001 and the second for 2002 to 2016.

The third Action Plan was drafted by a 12 member committee headed by JC Kala, a former secretary to MoEFCC. The plan contains detailed recommendations to be practiced in the protected areas. The key focus areas of this plan are wildlife health, conservation of marine ecosystem, reduction of human – wildlife conflict, conservation of coastal ecosystem and integration of climate change into wildlife planning.

  • This is the first time that an action plan on wildlife is recognising the impact of climate change on wildlife.
  • The plan focuses on integrating climate change mitigation actions into wildlife management planning process.
  • It suggests planting along ecological gradients and assisted wildlife migration because climate change has caused the death of certain flora.
  • Special focus on habitat conservation in coastal, marine and inland aquatic ecosystems and also the recovery of threatened species.
  • The plan talks about the issue of animal-human conflict and its impact on wildlife habitat such as its shrinkage, deterioration and fragmentation.
  • Highlighting the importance of people’s participation in this regard, the plan encourages awareness of conservation, ecodevelopment, education, training and outreach programmes for people.
  • It also suggests private sector participation in the wildlife conservation process.

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