Trading of animal products is illegal and should not be promoted said Shri Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Addressing the prize distribution function to mark the Wildlife Week, Shri Javadekar said that strict action has been taken against poachers and confiscated wildlife products are being burned and will be burned every year to send a strong message. The Minister also said that as India is a value-based country, we are committed to completely stop illegal wildlife trade. He also pointed out that work is being done to protect and preserve the endangered species of wildlife and increase their numbers.
Shri Javadekar said that despite suffering losses caused by animals to fields and farms, farmers are unwilling to kill animals. He said that there have been instances of human-wildlife conflict, for which the society will be trained and solutions will be provided. He also added that biodiversity is a gift of nature, which has to be preserved and nurtured. Emphasizing the importance of peoples' participation, Shri Javadekar added that water-fodder augmentation scheme in the forests has been started after suggestions were made by people. He expressed the hope that these young students will become ambassadors for protection of wildlife.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ashok Lavasa, said that sensitivity towards wildlife is important and mankind cannot survive without nature. Director General, Forest and Special Secretary, Shri S.S. Negi and Joint Director, National Zoological Park, Shri Ajit Kumar Bhowmick addressed the gathering.
Various programs and competitions are organized for students from government, public and private schools to mark the Wildlife Week. Students of different age groups from various schools and colleges, as well as specially-abled children received awards from the Minister. The categories in which the awards were given include - 'Keeper's talk program, clay modeling, poster competition on Conserve Wildlife, Expert talk on why conserve biodiversity, On-the-spot competition, Wildlife quiz, debate competition and Amateur Photography competition'.
The Wildlife Week is celebrated in the first week of October, with an aim to create awareness and sympathy for wildlife. Wildlife Week is being celebrated since the inception of National Zoological Park in 1957.