New Delhi: World Elephant day – 2022 was celebrated today at Periyar, Kerala in the presence of Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (EF&CC), Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS, EF&CC and A. K. Saseendran, Minister of Forests & Wildlife, Kerala among others.
The Union Minister released “Elephant Reserves of India: An Atlas”, “Elephant Reserves of India: Land Use Land Cover Classification”, “Caring for elephants: Managing health and welfare in captivity” and the Special edition of “Trumpet”.
Commemorating 30 years of completion of Project Elephant, a poster on elephant conservation in India was released by all dignitaries.
For the first time in an initiative taken by the Minister, Gaj Gaurav award was conferred for the commendable efforts of local communities, frontline staff and mahouts working at grass root level to conserve elephants in wild and captivity. This year the Malasar Community belonging to the Anamalai of Tamil Nadu and mahouts of Kerala and Assam were awarded the Gaj Gaurav award by the Union Minister, EF&CC.
Prizes were also given to school students for several competitions held on the theme “Living with elephants”.
Yadav also stated that “Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji a staunch environmentalist and nature lover has made two aspects central to our wildlife conservation strategy. First, wildlife protections and fight against climate change can go hand in hand with development – without either compromising on the other. Second, conservation efforts for our wildlife and biodiversity should be community-driven and all the assistance needed from the state being made available.