“Environment Ministry is not an obstacle but a solution provider,” he said, sketching the role played by the Ministry as an enabler of sustainable growth and development.
Speaking at the launch of book “Jumbos on the Edge: The Future of Elephant Conservation in India”, written by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) Managing Director Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, Yadav, dwelling on the human-elephant conflict and the measures taken by the Project Elephant division, emphasised the need for people’s awareness and participation as a crucial step in managing and conserving both flora and fauna while ensuring life and livelihood.
He congratulated the author, an Indian Forest Service officer, who, having spent a lifetime in the forests across India, “has brought those learnings and research together in the form of a book”, a Ministry statement said.
Union Education, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, who was also present on the occasion, recollected incidences of human-elephant conflict from his native Odisha, as he noted that the case studies and the suggestions brought forward in the book will help all stakeholders involved to incorporate in their existing and future implementation for a more holistic approach to development.
The Indian elephant (Elephas Maximus Indicus), a subspecies of the Asian elephant, is a keystone species and an integral component of ecosystems, playing a crucial role in maintaining forest ecosystem and biodiversity. It has been recognised as the national heritage animal of India and highest degree of protection has been given to it under the Wildlife Protection Act. India has the largest population of Asian elephants with 30,000 wild and about 3,600 captive elephants.
However, human-elephant conflict is a major conservation concern in elephant range states in India and emerged as one of the most challenging problems for elephant management and conservation in recent times. It refers to the negative interaction between people and elephants, leading to a negative impact on people, such as death and injury, crop damage, loss of property, apart from affecting their emotional well-being, and on the elephants or their habitats, the release added.