Blogpost by Vinuta Gopal – October 12, 2012
Few countries can boast a national animal with the status as India. The tiger, as a symbol of India, is as recognisable as the Taj Mahal and as loved as Mahatma Gandhi. Yet this iconic emblem of India is under threat and perhaps most shockingly, that threat doesn’t just come from blood thirsty poachers killing to order nor reckless chemical companies infecting the land through illegal dumping. No, today the biggest threat to the Indian Tiger comes from the very person charged with protecting the tiger – The Indian Prime Minister.
Yesterday Greenpeace India released its Trashing Tigerland report at the largest conference on biodiversity that shows how the Indian government’s present policy of mass deforestation in their mad dash for coal is threatening to make the Indian tiger extinct.
Between 2007 and 2011 the area where mining can happen and the amount of coal that has been made available has nearly doubled. Most of this expansion comes from the Central Indian region – home to over a quarter of the tiger population, yet the politically endorsed programme of coal growth will result in the removal of over 1.1 million hectares of natural tiger habitat.
Among the areas that will be affected include specifically designated zones that have supposedly been set aside to help the tiger breed and stem the tide of their diminishing numbers. Yet the rules to protect the tiger are being ripped up by a government more committed to destroying the environment and polluting the planet than it is in protecting one of its living national symbols.
That is why we are calling on the government to immediately put a stop on its coal programme that is destroying the forests.
So if you don’t want to stop the Indian tiger from becoming nothing more than an extinct symbol on a tourist board advert or left to the imagination of children through the pages of the Jungle Book, then join our campaign to save them. www.junglistan.org/act