Man-leopard conflict: Jairam writes to CMs

New Delhi: Observing that man-leopard conflicts have reached serious levels in many states, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday wrote to Chief Ministers asking them to set up trained response teams and launch awareness campaign to deal with such incidents.

In his letter dated, the Minister said that the new guidelines issued by the Ministry on Monday outline a three- pronged approach to deal with the man-leopard conflict and it will help handle the situation.

"Awareness generation amongst local communities, media and other government departments is essential to ensure cooperation in conflict situations. It is vital to set up trained response teams that can handle these situations," the letter said.

"And finally, the latest scientific findings on capture, handling, transport and trans-location (only if necessary) of problem animals have been outlined," it said.

Asking the Chief Ministers to translate the booklet containing the guidelines into the local language to ensure a wider reach, Ramesh said the booklet will be useful for local communities, field forest officers and revenue and other district administration officials.

"Knowing full well that such conflicts are locale-specific, the guidelines are intended to provide a guidance framework to be adopted to deal with incidents of loss of life and livestock caused by leopards," the Minister said.

The Ministry issued guidelines to states after the issue of man-leopard conflict reached serious proportions in the last few years.

The guidelines is based on consultations with a host of scientists and experts who have worked on the issue and various scientific studies and reports.