New Delhi: Terming wildlife and forest
conservation as two sides of the same coin, the Environment
Ministry has rejected a proposal to split the forest services
into two services, with one looking after wildlife.
"Wildlife conservation has to take support from forest
conservation only, so the two could not be separated. Hence a
proposal to split the Indian Forest Services (IFS) into two
have been shot down," Director General (Forest) Dileep Kumar
He was speaking at a meeting of the Field Directors of
Tiger Reserves from different states, organised by the
Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) here yesterday.
There had been constant demand from various NGOs to split
the IFS into two services, claiming the move would ensure
better management of wildlife and forest sector.
Kumar, however, made it clear that the government has no
plans to do so, at least in the near future.
He also exhorted the field directors to develop wildlife
management in a way which uses the stake of local communities.
"We have to be in touch with our people continuously,
find ways not to create a sense of antagonism with local
communities continuously. Forest department has a very
characteristic way of functioning, as it is marked by high
degree of isolation.
"This makes them highly dependent on local communities,"
the official pointed out.
He said as a small step in the direction of creating
specialisation and expertise in the forest service, the
ministry is planning to start three fellowships-- Hari Singh
Fellowship for fresh officers, S K Fellowship and C. Ranganath
Kumar also pointed out that a total seven officers who
passed out this year from IFS and have shown more than
extraordinary interest and aptitude in wildlife, have been
identified and selected for specialised training in wildlife