Pakke Tiger Reserve
GS PAPER II: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Context: More than 200 contingency workers of the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh went on an indefinite strike over non-payment of wages since December 2020.
- The tiger reserve in Pakke-Kessang district has been left unguarded as all the 202 workers, along with their eight elephants, converged at the tiger reserve’s administrative office to demand their wages for the last six months.
- The Pakke contingency workers were given their wages from April-November 2020 after the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had sanctioned ₹05 crore for 2020-2021 fiscal and released a part of it.
Pakke Tiger Reserve:
- Located in western Arunachal Pradesh
- Pakke Tiger Reserve, also known as Pakhui Tiger Reserve, is a Project Tiger reserve has won India Biodiversity Award 2016 in the category of 'Conservation of threatened species' for its Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme.
- In 2011, the Hornbill Nest Adoption Program (HNAP), in collaboration with the Ghora-Aabhe Society (which is a village council) and the Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department was adopted.
- Hornbills play an important role in Nyishi folklore and culture. Today, the community helps hornbills by searching for, monitoring and protecting nests in the forests around their villages, thus becoming local guardians or nest protectors.
National Tiger Conservation Authority was established in 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, to reorganise management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India. It is the overarching body for conservation of tigers in India.
Structure of NTCA:
- Environment Minister is the Chairman of the NTCA.
- Below chairman are eight experts or professionals having qualifications and experience in wildlife conservation and welfare of people including tribals, apart from three Members of Parliament (1 Rajya Sabha, 2 Lok Sabha).
- The Inspector General of Forests, in charge of project Tiger, serves as ex-officio Member Secretary.
- Its main administrative function is to approve the Tiger Conservation Plan prepared by the State Governments and then evaluate and assess various aspects of sustainable ecology and disallow any ecologically unsustainable land use such as, mining, industry and other projects within the tiger reserves.
- As per the WLPA, every State Government has the authority to notify an area as a tiger reserve.
- However, the Tiger Conservation Plans sent by state government need to be approved by the NTCA first.
- Alternatively, Central Government via NTCA may advise the state governments to forward a proposal for creation of Tiger Reserves.
Other Functions of NTCA are as follows:
- Regulation and standardization of tourism activities
- Provide for management focus and measures for addressing conflicts of men and wild animals.
- Provide information on protection measures.
- Ensure that the tiger reserves and areas linking one protected area or tiger reserve with another protected area or tiger reserve are not diverted for ecologically unsustainable uses, except in public interest and with the approval of the National Board for Wild Life and on the advice of the Tiger Conservation Authority.
- Facilitate and support the tiger reserve management in the State.
- Ensure critical support including scientific, information technology and legal support for better implementation of the tiger conservation plan.