India may miss deadline to identify wildlife, marine protected areas by 2020: Environment board
India constituted only 4.9% of the total terrestrial land and inland waters under the network of protected areas, which is far below the Aichi target of 17% for terrestrial land by 2020
India might not meet the international target of identifying wildlife and marine-protected areas by 2020, the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) said in a meeting.
According to the minutes of the 47th meeting of the NBWL, chaired by Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan, India constituted only 4.9% of the total terrestrial land and inland waters under the network of protected areas (PA), which is far below the Aichi target of 17% for terrestrial land by 2020.
The meeting took place on January 25 and the minutes were released last week.
HS Singh, member of the board, while briefing the standing committee, said it may not be possible to achieve the PA target by 2020, the minutes said.
Singh said at present, 0.3% of exclusive economic zones are under Marina Protected Areas in India, against the Aichi target of 10%, and there was a need to declare more marine sanctuaries.
“There is pressure on our terrestrial and marine PAs (protected areas) from high population and increased developmental activities. Marine PAs are very low as compared to other countries. For this, state governments need to work in tandem with fisheries, activities of the Navy and other sustainable industrial development to at least declare them under conservation reserves for better protection.”
Global concern about the loss of species and ecosystems found expression in the International Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was an agreement adopted globally during the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Under the CBD, in October 2010, a strategic plan for biodiversity conservation between 2011-2020 with five goals and 20 Aichi Targets was planned over the decade by all countries and stakeholders, overseen by the United Nations. Accordingly, India developed 12 national biodiversity targets, using Aichi targets as a framework to conserve its biodiversity.