Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 5
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said the government is working towards the upgradation and development of 160 zoos under Public Private Partnership (PPP) across the country to encourage interaction between wildlife and humans and help people observe and understand wildlife behaviour more closely.
Marking the celebration of Wildlife Week 2020, he said policy for upgradation and development of all the zoos in the country is underway and will be taken up during the upcoming Budget.
State governments, corporations, businesses and people will all be key elements of the plan which will help give enhanced experience to the visitors especially students and children and the future generation in order to nurture the connect between wildlife, nature and humans, he said.
The minister also launched a report of the CZA-TERI titled “Economic valuation of ecosystem services”. The report highlights the importance of habitats such as zoos to human wellbeing and the need of replication across India.
According to an official statement, the study, first of its kind in India and perhaps the entire world, pegs the total annual economic value of the ecosystem services (biodiversity conservation, employment generation, carbon sequestration, education and research, recreational and cultural) at around 423 crore (2019-20) whereas, the total value of the one-time cost of services such as carbon storage and land value provided by the zoo is estimated to be around 55,000 crore.
The minister also gave away the CZA-Prani Mitra awards to encourage zoo officials towards working for captive animal management and welfare in categories, including Outstanding Director/Curator, Outstanding Veterinarian, Outstanding Biologist/Educationist, Outstanding Biologist/Educationist and Outstanding Animal Keeper.