Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2020, announced a new conservation project: Project Dolphin. This ambitious scheme to conserve Gangetic river dolphins announced by Prime Minister will be launched in 15 days, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday. Project Dolphin is designed with the purpose of giving a boost to biodiversity and creating employment opportunities.
The Ganges river dolphin is a species of freshwater dolphins primarily found in the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers and their tributaries. Gangetic river dolphin was declared the national aquatic animal in 2010. Project Dolphin envisions to address conservation problems and empower the stakeholders involved. It will help the river-dependent population in reducing river pollution and allowing sustainable fishery and river-based livelihood options through scientific conservation methods.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar also announced that 80 percent of CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) funds must be used for plantation drives and afforestation only. While the rest is to be used for capacity building.
Chairing a meeting attended by 24 forest ministers from across the country, Javadekar said the Finance Commission had increased the forest-based devolution of funds from 7 percent to 10 percent. “CAMPA funds are being used to pay salaries of forest officials or infrastructure acquisition like vehicles etc. This is not what it was meant for,” he said at the meeting.
He also stated that the government is working towards Project Lion. This project will work towards habitat development and engage modern technologies in lion management. This will also address the issues of ailments in lions and associated species through advanced research and veterinary care. The project will aim to resolve human-wildlife conflict and will be inclusive involving local communities living in the vicinity of lions’ landscape and will also provide livelihood opportunities. Both these projects will use modern technology to replicate the success of Project Tiger. During the meeting, the states gave their status of preparedness for the implementation of various programs initiated by the Ministry.