Overview of Wildlife Conservation Plan (WCP)
Wildlife Conservation Plan is crucial as it maintains biodiversity, which is an integral part of our everyday lives and livelihoods, providing valuable resources that support families, communities, nations, and future generations. Each organism and its unique variations have a specific role in fulfilling within a particular ecological niche. However, human activities over the past few decades have significantly accelerated the rate of species extinction. Ecosystems are being fragmented or destroyed, and numerous species are experiencing population declines. This fragmentation, degradation, and loss of habitats seriously threaten the diversity of life on Earth. These losses are permanent and jeopardize our own well-being, considering our reliance on food crops, medicines, and other biological resources. Developing a comprehensive plan for biodiversity management and wildlife conservation is crucial to protecting the environment.Certain human activities, such as agricultural expansion, road construction, urbanization, and other development projects, are identified as major threats to biodiversity and wildlife. Therefore, the most effective and efficient approach to conserving biodiversity is to prevent further destruction or degradation of habitats. In India, the government has launched several wildlife conservation initiatives, including Project Snow Leopard, Project Tiger, Indian Rhino Vision 2020, Project Hangul, and the Crocodile Conservation Initiative. These projects aim to safeguard endangered species and their habitats.
Importance of Wildlife Conservation Plan
The significance of management is as follows:
- Ensuring the protection and conservation of wildlife within the area.
- Maintaining viable populations of wildlife to sustain their existence.
- Increasing the wildlife population by implementing appropriate habitat management practices, including provisions for shelter, water, food, etc.
- Preserving the area as a site of biological importance, serving as a natural heritage for future generations, supporting education, research, and people's enjoyment.
- Engaging local communities in wildlife conservation efforts.
- Educating and inspiring localresidents to actively participate in protecting and conserving wild animals, creating a secure environment for them.
- Controlling illegal trade and poaching of wildlife and their products.
- Expanding employment opportunities and generating additional income by promoting eco-tourism.
- Mitigating the negative impacts of human activities on wildlife growth, such as minimizing interference from other living organisms and regulating cattle grazing in areas rich in wildlife.
Application Process for Wildlife Conservation Plan
The Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), responsible for overseeing the project area, will receive all the necessary documentation from the project proponent.
Once the initial field survey is conducted, which includes documenting the species present and verifying the specific flora and fauna within the core and buffer zones, this information must be provided. In case any fauna classified as Schedule-I are discovered in the study region, a comprehensive plan for their protection must be included.
After validation by the relevant DCF and approval from the corresponding CCF, all the aforementioned documents, along with the complete Wildlife Management Plan, must be submitted to the office of the Chief Wildlife Warden (India) CWLW (Chief Conservator of Forest).
Contents in Wild Life Conservation Plan
The primary objective of a Wildlife Conservation Plan is to assess the current status of flora, fauna, and habitats of major wildlife species within the project area and a 10-kilometre buffer zone. The key components of the plan in each state are outlined below:
- Project Description: This section provides an overview of the project, including its history, goals, scope, purpose, and relevant laws and regulations. It also describes the geography, linear infrastructure, natural drainage, aquatic bodies, wildlife movement, and the specialists involved in the study.
- Project Effects and Conservation Strategy for Affected Areas: The research report in this section covers the potential impact of the project on soil, vegetation, water cycles, and animal populations. It addresses any potential hazards that may arise from project implementation and the study methods employed.
- Mitigation Techniques: This section discusses mitigation methods for identified impacts resulting from the project within the project area and the buffer region, along with any other project-related issues.
- Approach and Methodology: The strategic approach and methodology used in the study area are outlined here. This includes an assessment of the ecological aspects of the impact area, such as rivers, plants, fauna, and the zone of interest.
- Strategies for Boosting Local Economy: This section focuses on planned management methods that the project proponent intends to implement within the project's core area. It includes details on project interventions, environmental management plan (EMP) provisions, and periodic evaluation and revision arrangements.
- Maps and Appendices: The plan should include an executive summary, as well as maps, appendices, and other relevant documents illustrating the project's location in relation to any protected areas mentioned in the plan.
Documents required in Wildlife Conservation Plan
The application should encompass specific information and documentation, including:
- The name of the project proponent
- Project name, location, and cost
- The project area and the 10 km buffer area
- Detailed description of activities to be carried out under the project
- Identification of ecologically sensitive areas and Schedule 1 species for which the Wildlife Conservation Plan (WCP) is being developed
- Name of the implementing agency responsible for the WCP
- List of flora and fauna verified by the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF)
- Wildlife Conservation Plan formatted according to DFC's authentication guidelines.
Advantages of Wildlife Conservation Plan
The benefits of a Conservation plan include the following:
- Offering a habitat within the Impact Area that minimizes stress for wildlife and fulfils their basic needs.
- Providing additional habitat for the spillover population of wild animals from the Project Area into the Impact Area.
- Establishing secure corridors for wildlife to move from the Impact Area to neighbouring forest areas with abundant resources.
- Safeguarding wildlife from potential threats posed by undesirable elements.
- Implementing site-specific and participatory eco-development initiatives for local stakeholders, reducing their dependence on forest resources and gaining their support for conservation efforts in the area.
- Enhancing the capacity of local individuals, particularly members of the Eco-Development Committee.
- Providing the necessary resources to assist local Forest Department officials and staff in implementing the conservation plan.
- Addressing the escalating conflict between humans and animals resulting from habitat shrinkage, fragmentation, and degradation has led to wildlife destruction and resentment towards protected areas. This issue requires innovative approaches and effective management strategies.
How can Enterclimate assist you?
With over a decade of expertise in licensing and pollution compliance domains, our team of professionals is well-equipped to offer extensive support for your Wildlife Conservation Plan and operational permits.
Expert Legal Guidance
Enterclimate offers comprehensive support for the Wildlife Conservation Plan, including legal guidance, through a customizable package that can be tailored to meet our clients' specific priorities and needs.
Best in Class client Support
Our dedicated support team keeps our clients informed about the latest guidelines and updates from relevant government departments concerning the Wildlife Conservation Plan and its regular inspections.