Will raise funds for animal rescue centres though PPP models, says Union Minister

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) Bhupender Yadav on Monday said that the ministry plans to raise funds for new animal rescue centres across the country through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models.

The Union Minister was addressing the concluding event of the two-day national conference of zoo directors in Kevadia of Narmada district.

Stating that raising funds was “necessary”, Yadav said, “In order to create new wildlife rescue centres across the country, the Ministry will consider Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models to raise funds. It will bring in new funds and also create some additional funds, which is extremely necessary right now.”

Yadav said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, workers on the ground are being bestowed with the highest awards in the country. Yadav said, “We (NDA government) have started giving out the prestigious national awards like Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan to people working on the ground since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. So, those who are working on the fields to safeguard wildlife are also being accorded honour.”

Yadav also gave out awards to officers, who have made significant contributions in wildlife conservation.

During the address Yadav further said, “We will look into the suggestions that you (Zoo Directors) have submitted at the conference in regard to wildlife and also hold meetings with officials of the departments to review your recommendations.”

Yadav also told the Directors that they were “safeguarding wildlife” in precarious times. “You are truly preserving wildlife in times when people are willing to destroy the wild for their needs, hobbies, greed… There is no bigger sin than destroying wildlife. But the fact is that even if it cannot be saved, it should not be killed… You are not just doing your duty but fulfilling a responsibility,” he said.

Yadav said that the Ministry “will initiate strict action against” illegal hunting as well as unauthorized transfers of animals from one zoo to another as recommended by zoo directors at the conference.

Gujarat Cabinet Minister for MoEFCC Kiritsinh Rana said that the Sardar Patel Zoological Park and Jungle Safari, which was officially inaugurated by Modi on October 31, last year, has seen a “record footfall of tourists since its opening”.

The dignitaries also viewed a film made to raise awareness against the illegal hunting of wild animals. A book detailing a 10-year roadmap for the zoos and wildlife in the country was also released at the event while some officials were also handed out awards for their contribution to the field.

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