Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ (IDWH) is an on-going Centrally Sponsored Scheme which has been made operational by adding more components and activities to the erstwhile Centrally Sponsored Scheme - "Assistance for the Development of National Parks and Sanctuaries" during the 11th Plan Period. Under IDWH, the financial assistance is provided to State/UT Governments for protection and conservation of wildlife and its habitats in Protected Areas (PAs) as well as outside PAs and also for the recovery programmes of the critically endangered species.
India has a network of 700 Protected Areas (103 National Parks, 528 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 65 Conservation Reserves and 4 Community Reserves). The details of the Protected Areas in India may be seen at: http://www.wiienvis.nic.in/Database/Protect ed_Area_854.aspx
Project Elephant (PE) was launched by the Government of India in the year 1991-92 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the following objectives:
The implementation of Project Elephant is through the C.S.S. Plan Scheme with the grant to State Governments on items of recurring expenditure on operational costs under Project Elephant at the rate of 100% of approved cost up to October 2015 after that funding pattern changed to the ratio of Central: State share to 60:40 and 90:10 for North East and Himalayan states). Presently the Project is being implemented in 22 States/UTs, viz. Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Andaman & Nicobar, Bihar, Punjab, Gujarat and Haryana (where an elephant rescue centre has been set up supported by Project Elephant). There are 29 notified and 1 proposed Elephant Reserve in the country (Khasi Hills Elephant Reserve in Meghalaya).
The National Wildlife Action Plan (2017-31) has been prepared. Effective decision making in development related projects: The frequency of meetings of Standing Committee of NBWL has been increased from four in a year to once in amonth, so as to take quick decisions and examining developmental projects around Protected Areas. 257 developmental projects were recommended by the Standing Committee of NBWL during the last three years.
A total of 18 tiger range States, distributed in five landscapes of the country is covered under the Project Tiger scheme. It would foster wildlife conservation in general with specific inputs for tiger in Project Tiger area.
The implementation of the schemes would be done through the respective States in designated Tiger Reserves.
So far, 22 species have been identified under the recovery programme. These are the Snow Leopard, Bustard (including Floricans), Dolphin, Hangul, Nilgiri Tahr, Marine Turtles, Dugongs, Edible Nest Swiftlet, Asian Wild Buffalo, Nicobar Megapode, Manipur Brow-antlered Deer, Vultures, Malabar Civet, Indian Rhinoceros, Asiatic Lion, Swamp Deer, Jerdon’s Courser, the Northern River Terrapin, Clouded Leopard, Arabian Sea Humpback Whale, Red Panda and Caracal.
Besides immense environmental benefits and effective implementation of tiger conservation inputs in and around tiger reserves under Project Tiger, wildlife conservation inputs in Protected Areas & nearby areas under Development of Wildlife Habitats and Elephant conservation inputs in Project Elephant areas, the schemes would result in overall strengthening/ consolidation of tiger, elephant and wildlife conservation in the country.
The schemes would address the human wildlife conflict effectively.
These schemes would generate employment opportunities resulting in economic upliftment of people in and around tiger reserves/ Protected Areas besides leading to reduction in natural resource dependency with substitution by clean energy use. It will generate direct employment of about 30 lakh mandays annually which shall include many local tribes besides non-tribal local workforce. People living in vicinity would also get indirect benefits. Local populace would get opportunities to serve as guides, driver, hospitality personnel and in other ancillary jobs. These schemes would foster imparting various skills towards making people self-dependent through various eco-development projects, thereby enabling them to go for self-employment.
These schemes would result in resource generation through tourist visits, thereby fostering in securing tiger source areas and other areas important for wildlife conservation, besides being helpful in sustaining life support systems as well as ensuring the food, water and livelihood security.