Collapse of the ecological balance and an undeclared war with nature

Syllabus: GS-III

Subject: Ecology and Environment

Topic: Biodiversity and Conservation

Issue: Human Animal Conflict

Reason behind increase in human animal conflict:

  • Forestlands cleared for non-forest use initiate ecosystem destruction,
  • Such destruction get worsened by Monoculture plantations and pesticide use leading to soil depletion, reduced crop yields, and diseases.
  • Expansion of resorts and tourism, especially in forest edges and elephant corridors
  • Cattle grazing, planting invasive plants, and forest fires contribute to destruction of habitat.

The way ahead:

  • Government efforts must focus on continuous conservation, public awareness, and stakeholder engagement.
  • A high-level panel and Rapid Response Teams to address immediate issues.
  • A statutory body is necessary to coordinate forest issues across departments to assess the situation and develop effective strategies.
  • Strict enforcement of the Forest Conservation Act with Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) principle is essential.
+1 Advantage for mains ( data point)

·         A study report titled Right of Passage: Elephant Corridors of India conducted by Wildlife Trust of India identified 88 elephant corridors in 2005.

·          As per the report, 24% of the corridors were under reserve forest and 76% under forest, agriculture, tea gardens, and human settlements.

·         In Kerala alone there were 20,957 cases of crop loss due to incursions by wild animals, leading to the death of 1,559 domestic animals, primarily cattle. (Between-2017-23)

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