Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said that the Centre is working mulling to upgrade and develop 160 zoos in India in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model.
“Children like visiting zoos and to enhance their experience, these facilities must be maintained properly. There are 160 zoos in the country. We will soon come up with a new plan for upgradation and expansion of zoos across the country and we will set aside a budget for it, which will be announced in the next year’s budget session,” Javadekar said.
Speaking at an online event ‘Wildlife Week 2020’ on Monday, Javadekar said that the development of the zoos would encourage interaction between wildlife and humans, and help people observe and understand wildlife behaviour more closely.
It will help give an enhanced experience to the visitors especially the students and children and the future generation in order to nurture the connection between wildlife, nature and humans, the minister said.
During the online event, Javadekar also released a report based on the total economic valuation of the Delhi National Zoological Park.
The report was prepared by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the Central Zoo Authority (CZA).
The total economic value of ecosystem services provided by Delhi’s National Zoological Park for 2019-2020 stood at Rs 422.76 crore, according to the report.
The ecosystem services provided by the zoological park are biodiversity conservation, carbon storage and sequestration, employment generation, education and research, and recreational and cultural.
During the virtual interaction, Javadekar also addressed questions of school children from across the country, concerning wildlife protection and human-wildlife interaction.
The minister also gave away the CZA-PraniMitra awards to encourage the zoo officers and staff towards working for captive animal management and welfare.
The awards were given in four categories viz. the Outstanding Director / Curator, Outstanding Veterinarian, Outstanding Biologist /Educationist, Outstanding Biologist /Educationist and Outstanding Animal keeper.