Tripartite MoU to ensure effective tiger conservation

The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for implementing a new and improved tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) format linked to fund flows between the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests, State Governments and the Tiger Reserve Management.

The MoU seeks to ensure effective tiger conservation by laying out the respective responsibilities and reciprocal commitments linked to fund flows to foster public accountability.

According to an official press release, the MoU will strengthen tiger conservation initiatives in the country, reinforce the ongoing initiatives to conserve the tiger in the wake of poaching threats and demand for its body parts in the international illegal market, develop approaches to strengthen the ongoing efforts for conserving tigers in the designated tiger reserves and other tiger bearing forests of the country and address the growing concern among public for saving the tiger.

The implementation would be done through the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger in the 37 Tiger reserves in the country, it said.

The states covered under the scheme are Uttar Pradesh, Rajathan, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests said the MoU would foster public accountability relating to tiger conservation by ensuring reciprocal commitments between the Centre, the tiger States and the Field Director of Tiger Reserves. It also contains commitments like establishment of Tiger Conservation Foundation which would promote innovative practices for involving the local stakeholders in tiger conservation.

Mr Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment and Forests, said this will also ensure better utilization of funds and increases accountability and responsibility for all three parties. Over the next month,the Ministry is expected to sign these MoUs with 17 states listed above and 37 Project Tiger Reserves, he added.

The Tiger Task Force constituted by the Prime Minister, in the wake of tigers getting locally extinct from Sariska, recommended a system of MoU with Project States for better implementation.

An MoU format was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in February, 2008 during the revision of the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger. Central Assistance to States under the scheme is provided only after the MoU is signed by the authorised signatory of the state.

The CCEA in its meeting held on January 30, 2008 approved the continued implementation of f Project Tiger during the XIth Five Year Plan, at an estimated cost of Rs. 600 crores.

The CCEA, while approving the scheme further directed that the MoU contained in the proposal be suitably modified to reflect the responsibilities of the State Governments for delineating the buffer zones and filling staff vacancies.

The directions of the CCEA were duly complied with, and an MoU in the approved format was entered into with 16 out of 17 tiger states, except Bihar, for releasing the central assistance under the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger.

Keeping in view the directions of the CCEA and the serious concerns about the inadequacy of tiger conservation efforts by tiger states, the matter has been further examined and various generic as well as tiger reserve-specific suggestions were reviewed in a meeting of Field Directors of Tiger Reserves held at Kanha Tiger Reserve last year. Based on these discussions/consultations, a refined MoU was developed to include issues that emerged during the said meeting.

The Ministry earlier had a bilateral MoU between the Ministry of Environment and Forests and tiger reserve States, but a tripartite MoU was considered more effective than the earlier since the Field Director of a tiger reserve is the key functionary vested with the responsibility of day-to-day management, between the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the tiger reserve States as well as the Field Directors of Tiger Reserves.


© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.