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Let’s take a pledge on World Wildlife Day to save world’s wild fauna and flora-Puri

Let’s take a pledge on World Wildlife Day to save world’s wild fauna and flora-Puri

Jaswant Singh Puri/ March 3,2023

Many people in developed and developing countries get the multitude of benefits from the use of wild species. The global biodiversity crisis, with many species of plants and animals facing extinction, is detrimental for the people. So, World Wildlife Day (WWD) is a golden opportunity to celebrate the countless and beautiful forms of wild fauna and flora to create awareness about its uses. Wildlife Day, celebrated on 3rd March, reminds us to step up the vigil against wildlife crime and human-propelled reduction of species.

World Wildlife Day is celebrated to honour the people who are making a difference. The sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly was held on 20th December, 2013 which decided to proclaim 3rd March as World Wildlife Day to raise awareness about the world’s wild fauna and flora.

Humans are not the only living things on the Earth. In fact, we are far outnumbered by other living things, from animals to plants and fungi to bacteria. World Wildlife Day is the major day to educate ourselves and others about biodiversity. The theme for World Wildlife Day, 2023 is ‘Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation’.

Let’s take a pledge on World Wildlife Day to save world’s wild fauna and flora-Puri

The themes of Wildlife Celebration conform with the UN Sustainable Goals to alleviate poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources and conserving wildlife and land. A symbiotic relationship exists between the forest, forest dwelling wildlife species, ecosystem services and people, particularly the indigenous people. There is a need to inspire collective action towards conservation, reversing the deterioration phase of key species of animals and plants. Forest restoration can remove 26 gigatons of Greenhouse Gases from the atmosphere.

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration was launched in 2021. It is a call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world for the benefit of people and nature. Geneva and its surrounding areas host important international organisations working on wildlife and forests. The Europe Office in Geneva also hosts The Tehran Convention, a framework designed to protect the marine environment of the Caspian Sea. Geneva has also established several protected areas covering some of its territory to develop restoration projects for rivers and banks of lakes.

Chhatbir Zoo is a good attempt to protect biodiversity. It is a Zooloical Park situated at Chhat Village, close to Zirakpur (Punjab) which is a home to a large variety of birds, mammals and reptiles. Chhatbir has India’s longest walk-in aviary with a number of species of indigenous exotic birds. Chhatbir Zoo can boast about being home to the enchanting Royal Bengal Tiger with other reptiles and mammals.

The Deer Park of Patiala on Dakala Road is also famous and located just 5-6 kilometers from the main city.

Let’s take a pledge on World Wildlife Day to save world’s wild fauna and flora-Puri

The Park is divided into zoo area and garden area. Zoo area is the main attraction which consists of deer, monkeys, sparrows, alligators, peacocks, rabbits etc. Maharaja Bhupindra Singh of Patiala was much fond of dog-breeding which led him to govern the All-India Gun Dog League as its President and the Indian Kennel Association as its Vice-President. He also had a series of kennels wherein he would purchase any dog that he developed liking to. That is why when it comes to shelling out big bucks for an exotic dog breed, people rarely think twice. It was recently reported that S. Satish from Bengaluru who is the President of the Indian Dog Breeders Association has bought a Causasian Shepherd priced at Rupees Twenty Crores.

Our country is a great lover of animals where cow is worshipped as ‘Mata’. Lord Shiva is shown as riding on Nandi. Royal Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India which is a combination of grace, strength, agility and power. Indian elephant is the National Heritage Animal. Peacock is the national bird of India. Ganges River Dolphin is the National Aquatic Animal.

Project Cheetah was introduced in the country by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in 2022. All the eight Chhetahs who have been brought from Namibia to India are healthy and active. The first batch of eight cheetahs (three males and five females) was flown from Namibia in September, 2022. They were released in Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh in a vast area of 740 sq. km. Conservation of this species will improve biodiversity, boost tourism and local economy.  PM Modi had introduced the Chhetahs on his birthday, 17th September, 2022.

Let’s take a pledge on World Wildlife Day to save world’s wild fauna and flora-Puri

India is a home to around 500 species of migratory birds. Habitat encourages compassion and a sense of co-existence. Protection of animals and nature has been enshrined in the Constitution of India. Our country has focused on conservation projects of species. As a result, the number of Tiger Reserves has increased from nine to fifty at present. India has launched Project Snow Leopard also for protection and its habitat in the upper Himalayas. The Government of India has also launched the National Conservation Strategy for the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros.

Let’s take a pledge on World Wildlife Day to save world’s wild fauna and flora-Puri

The Indian Parliament enacted the Wildlife (Protection) Act in 1972 as a safeguard and protection of the wildlife and ensure ecological security. It also prohibited the hunting of endangered species. Indian Government amends these acts from time to time for wildlife conservation. Let us celebrate Wildlife Day and respect the elements of nature.

Note: This article is dedicated to Smt. Alka Puri wife of Dr. Ajit Singh Puri and mother of Jaswant Singh Puri.

(The views expressed are personal)


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