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Best managed protected areas in the country to be ranked and awarded every year: Prakash Javadekar

At present, India has a network of 903 Protected Areas in the country covering about 5% of the total geographic area of the country. In order to assess the efficacy of Protected Areas, evaluation of management effectiveness is required.

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New Delhi: Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar Monday released Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in the country.

At present, India has a network of 903 Protected Areas in the country covering about 5% of the total geographic area of the country. In order to assess the efficacy of Protected Areas, evaluation of management effectiveness is required.

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Speaking at the event Javadekar said what other countries could not achieve. India has achieved and today has thriving biodiversity. “Seventy per cent of the global tiger population, 70 per cent of Asiatic lions and more than 60 per cent of leopards population in India is a certificate of India’s thriving biodiversity, as these big cats sit at the top of the food chain and their growing numbers show the well being of the whole ecosystem,” said the Environment Minister.

Javadekar also announced that from this year onwards 10 best National Parks, five coastal and Marine parks and top five Zoos in the country will be ranked and awarded every year.

Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Protected Areas (PAs) has emerged as a key tool for PA managers and is increasingly being used by governments and international bodies to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the protected area management systems.

The results of the present assessment are encouraging with an overall mean MEE score of 62.01 per cent which is higher than the global mean of 56 per cent. With this round of evaluation, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) successfully completed one full cycle of evaluating all terrestrial National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of the country from 2006 to 2019.

MEE is a very important document that provides valuable guidance on various aspects of wildlife and protected area expand MEE of Marine Protected Areas. A new framework for MEE of Marine Protected Areas has been also jointly prepared by WII and MoEF&CC and it will be very useful document to implement.

The Environment Minister also launched the Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Indian Zoos (MEE-ZOO) framework which proposes guidelines, criteria and indicators for the evaluation of zoos of the country through Management Effectiveness Evaluation Process (MEE-ZOO) in a manner which is discrete, holistic and independent.

The assessment criteria and indicators look beyond the traditional concepts, include issues of animal welfare, husbandry and sustainability of resources and finance. The MEE-ZOO exercise is moving towards developing highest standards in Zoos across India and adhering to core values of accountability, transparency, innovation, use of technology, collaboration and integrity to achieve the mandate of conservation of endangered species.

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