A Policy Framework For Connectivity Conservation And Smart .

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MITIGATIONROAD ECOLOGYLINEAR INFRASTRUCTUREVolume 1A Policy Framework forConnectivity Conservation and Smart GreenLinear Infrastructure Developmentin the Central Indian and Eastern Ghats Tiger LandscapeMilind Pariwakam, Aditya Joshi,Sheetal Navgire & Srinivas Vaidyanathan

Volume 1A Policy Framework for Connectivity Conservation and Smart Green LinearInfrastructure Development in the Central Indian and Eastern Ghats TigerLandscape.Wildlife Conservation Trust11th Floor, Mafatlal Center, Nariman Point, Mumbai- 400 021www.wildlifeconservationtrust.orgUsing the tiger as a metaphor for all of nature, the Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT), a not-for-profit, was envisioned to preserve and protect India’s rich naturalheritage. WCT works closely with the government for the conservation of forests and wildlife in over 160 Protected Areas (PAs) and in forests outside the PA network,in 23 states. The organisation is involved in improving the protection mechanism of national parks and sanctuaries, in enforcement training, habitat and speciesconservation, mitigation of human-wildlife conflict, introducing innovative technologies in conservation and monitoring of large carnivores, and in providinghealthcare to the frontline forest staff. Having understood the acute need for sustainability of both natural resources and humans, the organisation lays equal emphasison conservation of ecosystems and rural development. Hence, creating better livelihood options for local communities and enhancing the quality of education in ruralschools are important areas of intervention for the organisation.Title: A Policy Framework for Connectivity Conservation and Smart Green Linear Infrastructure Development in the Central Indian and Eastern Ghats Tiger Landscape.Volume 1 February, 2018. Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT), India.Authors: Milind Pariwakam1, Aditya Joshi1, Sheetal Navgire1 & Srinivas Vaidyanathan2Author affiliations: 1Wildlife Conservation Trust & 2Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and LearningAcknowledgements: We thank Dr. Y.V. Jhala, Wildlife Institute of India for sharing data from the three All India Tiger Estimation exercises (2008, 2010 and 2014).We also thank Advocate Ritwick Dutta & Dr. Rakesh Kumar Singh for constructive suggestions on the policy aspects. We thank Mr. Udayan Patil, Srushti ParyavaranMandal for his help in designing this report.High resolution versions of the maps presented in this report can be accessed atwww.connectivityconservationindia.orgDisclaimer : Data for the report has been taken from the MoEFCC website http://www.forestsclearance.nic.in over a period of four months. Any inaccuracies which may havecrept in are due to the data uploaded by user agencies on the MoEFCC portal. Some of the projects may have been withdrawn and for various reasons may no longer beaccessible on the MoEFCC website. WCT does not take any responsibility for the inaccuracies which may have crept in. This report only aims to present a policy framework as awin-win solution for wildlife and development. The boundaries of India shown in various maps in this report are neither authenticated nor verified and are not to scale. They areonly meant for graphical representation. All efforts have been made to make them accurate, however WCT does not own any responsibility for the correctness or autheticity ofthe same.

“I strongly believe that tiger conservation, or conservation of nature, is nota drag on development. Both can happen in a mutually complementarymanner. All we need is to re-orient our strategy by factoring in theconcerns of the tiger in sectors where tiger conservation is not the goal.This is a dif icult task but can be achieved. Our genius lies in “smartly”integrating the tiger and wildlife safeguards in various infrastructures atthe landscape level. This essentially takes us to the much needed “smartgreen infrastructure”, while adopting a landscape approach.at the end, I would like to emphasise that conservation of tigers is not achoice. It is an imperative.”Honourable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modiat 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation on 12th April 2016Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, IndiaiiA Policy Framework for Connectivity Conservation and Smart Green Linear Infrastructure Development in the Central Indian and Eastern Ghats Tiger Landscape

@NikhilTambekarA leopard walking along the Chandrapur-Mul Road. This road, which passes through the Tadoba-Kawaltiger corridor, is proposed for expansion into a national highway.

@SheetalNavgire, WCTBor Tiger Reserve’s dominant male tiger, BTR-T2 (Bajirao) knocked dead on NH6 on Dec 29, 2017. This section of NH6cuts through the Bor-Melghat corridor and was expanded without any mitigation measures in 2009CONTENTSForeword01IntroductionCentral Indian and Eastern Ghats Landscape as a functional03tiger meta-population04Examples of linear projects affecting connectivity10De ining the problemMethodology to identify tiger corridorsConnectivity in the Central Indian and Eastern Ghats tigerlandscapeA policy framework that aims to solve the problemReferencesMap 1 Corridors of Central Indian and Eastern Ghats tiger0711121321landscape.24Central Indian and Eastern Ghats tiger landscape.25Pradesh26Map 2 Corridors and proposed linear infrastructure inList of identi ied linear project proposals in AndhraMap 3 Linear project proposals in Andhra Pradesh32List of identi ied linear project proposals in Chhattisgarh33List of identi ied linear project proposals in Jharkhand4039Map 4 Linear project proposals in ChhattisgarhMap 5 Linear project proposals in Jharkhand46List of identi ied linear project proposals in MadhyaPradesh47List of identi ied linear project proposals in Maharashtra56Map 6 Linear project proposals in Madhya Pradesh55Map 7 Linear project proposals in Maharashtra62List of identi ied linear project proposals in Odisha63Map 8 Linear project proposals in Odisha69List of identi ied linear project proposals in Rajasthan70Map 9 Linear project proposals in Rajasthan74List of identi ied linear project proposals in TelanganaMap 10 Linear project proposals in Telangana75Map 11 All protected areas and corrridors in Central Indianand Eastern Ghats tiger landscape81Back Inside CoverivA Policy Framework for Connectivity Conservation and Smart Green Linear Infrastructure Development in the Central Indian and Eastern Ghats Tiger Landscape

ForewordWhile numerous historic threats to tigers and their habitat remain, linearinfrastructure development has emerged as the single largest threat to thedemographic viability of tigers.Whose Right of Way?Development of linear infrastructure, without considering impacts on forestsand wildlife, tends to fragment natural landscapes severing habitatconnectivity, which is vital for the demographic and genetic viability of severalendangered species.India is now witnessing a rapid growth of its transportation networks and it isimperative to move beyond piecemeal solutions to get win-win solutions atthe landscape scale.While several reports, studies and guidelines aim to address this issue ofmitigating the negative impacts of such linear infrastructure on naturallandscapes and conserving the connectivity that they offer to smallpopulations of endangered species of wildlife, there is a lack of timelyinformation on whether a particular project is likely to affect corridor/s. Thisreport primarily seeks to address this speci ic lacuna.This policy framework is not a holistic solution by itself as solutions need to beproject speci ic, site speci ic, science-based and are the mandate of thestatutory agencies.This study builds on the earlier work by other entities and presents a wayforward for better planning of linear infrastructure without compromising onthe connectivity needs of wildlife. Use of this policy framework in conjunctionwith other existing statutory provisions and guidelines for building linearinfrastructure through forests, will help devise site-speci ic solutions that takeinto consideration the need for development without ignoring the ecology ofwildlife.This policy framework for tiger connectivity in the Central Indian and EasternGhats tiger landscape uses extensive data on tiger presence, existing andproposed roads, railways and canals, and presents results which can be usedPage 01A Policy Framework for Connectivity Conservation and Smart Green Linear Infrastructure Development in the Central Indian and Eastern Ghats Tiger Landscape

by policymakers and planners for incorporating “smart” and “green”measures that addresses both the needs of development and movement ofmultiple species of wildlife in the planning stage of linear infrastructureprojects itself, thus reducing time and cost over-runs in infrastructure projectimplementation.The same framework with improvements can be adopted by the statutoryagencies for the other three important tiger landscapes in India, namely, theWestern Ghats, Shivalik-Gangetic Landscape and the North East IndianLandscape by incorporating information on the corridors and proposedprojects in the respective landscapes. Work is in progress on these threereports which we hope will have a positive impact nationally.This is the irst of a series of planned reports.We also hope that this framework will be of use to regulatory agencies such asthe Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), theNational Board for Wildlife (NBWL), the National Tiger ConservationAuthority (NTCA), Project Elephant, Ministry of Road Transport andHighways, State Public Works Departments, the National Highways Authorityof India (NHAI), the Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Water Resourcesand River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and infrastructure inanceinstitutions to pro-actively safeguard corridors by putting appropriatemitigation measures in a timely manner and saving cost of delay due tolitigation, help in updating the corridor plans of the Tiger Conservation Plans(TCPs) as mandated by the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and as an input forperiodic habitat integrity assessments.We hope that this policy framework will prove to be a paradigm shift in theway we plan our infrastructure development.Page 02A Policy Framework for Connectivity Conservation and Smart Green Linear Infrastructure Development in the Central Indian and Eastern Ghats Tiger Landscape

IntroductionGlobal tiger populations and distribution have seen drastic declines. Whilenumerous historic threats to tigers remain, linear infrastructure developmenthas emerged as the single largest threat to the demographic viability of tigers1,2.Studies by multi-national banks3,4 show that linear infrastructure developmenthas already increased vastly and is further poised to increase in Tiger RangeCountries (TRCs) as a result of their aspirations for higher rates of economicgrowth.Linear infrastructure such as roads, railways, canals and power lines are amongthe largest arti icial structures built on this planet and are ubiquitous.Development of this linear infrastructure without considering impacts onforests and wildlife tends to fragment natural landscapes severing habitatconnectivity which is vital for the demographic and genetic viability of severalendangered species.The Central Indian and Eastern Ghats tiger landscape is spread over eightIndian states viz. Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana. This de inition5,6 of thelandscape is based on the assumption that the landscape would have beencontiguous in the not so distant past and therefore forms a common gene pool.Thismeta-population oftigers in theCentral IndianTiger Landscapehas the highestgenetic diversity ofwild tigerpopulationsanywhere in theworld.With 23 tiger reserves (TRs), about 46 other protected areas (PAs) with tigerpresence, most of them connected by corridors, the Central Indian and EasternGhats tiger landscape is one of the largest6 tiger landscapes in India andharbours about 31% of the country’s tiger population7 (approximately 688tigers out of the national estimate of 2226 tigers). This meta-population oftigers has the highest genetic diversity of wild tiger populations anywhere inthe world8.The landscape has long been recognised as an important landscape forlong-term tiger conservation. In fact, of the original nine tiger reserves thatconstituted Project Tiger during its inception9, ive (viz. Kanha, Melghat,Palamau, Ranthambhore and Similipal) are from the Central Indian and EasternGhats tiger landscape9. Even today, some of the largest wilderness areas andTiger Conservation Landscapes (TCLs) in the country are located in the CentralIndian and Eastern Ghats tiger landscape10.Notable among other highly endangered fauna of this landscape are AsiaticWild Buffalo (Bubalus arnee) in Udanti-Sitanadi and Indravati Tiger Reserves inChhattisgarh and adjoining forests of the state of Maharashtra and the onlypopulation of the hard ground Barasingha (Rucervus duvauceli branderi) in theworld - in Kanha Tiger Reserve (and now Satpura Tiger Reserve of MadhyaPradesh, where it was recently reintroduced). The Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra)Page 03A Policy Framework for Connectivity Conservation and Smart Green Linear Infrastructure Development in the Central Indian and Eastern Ghats Tiger Landscape

has been discovered recently in Satpura Tiger Reserve and Balaghat Forestcircle in Madhya Pradesh31,32. Among other large mammals, the landscapesupports four species belonging to the family Canidae, seven cat species (familyFelidae), six species belonging to the family Bovidae, and six species belongingto the family Cervidae. The landscape also supports an endangered species ofowl, the Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewetti). The eastern parts of the landscape,in the state of Odisha and Jharkhand also harbour populations of the Asianelephant (Elephas maximus). Also harboured within this landscape are twobiosphere r