The Minister for Environment & Forests, Shri Suresh Prabhu, has declared the Lakshadweep Islands
as a Heritage Site. The Minister made this declaration in the Lakshadweep's capital, Kavaratti, on
December 29, 1998 while inaugurating a function on biological diversity. Speaking at the function,
Shri Prabhu said that the Coastal Zone Management Plan for the Lakshadweep will be cleared by the
Ministry of Environment & Forests.
He added that during 1999, a taxonomy centre for bio-diversity will be established in India by his
Ministry. Shri Prabhu also released the first National Report on Bio-diversity on the occasion.
Covering other major issues in his speech, the Minister said that the rights of traditional fishermen
in the Lakshadweep Islands would be protected.
The amendment of the Wildlife (Protection) Act in 1991 provided for the enforcement of mandatory
standards and norms for management of zoos through the Central Zoo Authority. However, the
Government realised that the objective of the Act could only be achieved through cooperation and
participation of stakeholders. Keeping this in view, the National Zoo Policy 1998 was evolved. The
salient features of the policy are :
- All zoos have to be managed with the objective of supporting national efforts on wildlife
conservation, mainly through ex-situ breeding of endangered species and motivating visitors to live
in harmony with nature.
- No new zoo shall be established unless it is essential for strengthening the national conservation
efforts and the technical support for the operation of the proposed zoo is available on scientific lines.
- No zoo shall acquire any wild animals unless it is essential for maintaining the genetic viability of the
- No new zoo shall be set up unless a sustained supply of resources, including finance and technical
support, is guaranteed.
- Zoos shall provide all animals in their menagerie, proper housing, upkeep and nutrition based on the
natural history of the animal.
- Zoos shall ensure availability of the highest standards of health care to all the animals in their
menagerie. In this regard, cooperation of universities, colleges and veterinary institutions shall also
- Zoos shall manage their menageries according to a scientifically drawn management plan.
Appropriate population control measures shall be taken in respect of prolifically breeding species.
- Breeding programmes of endangered species for reintroduction purposes in the wild would be taken
only with specific approval of the Central/State Government and the Central Zoo Authority.
- Zoos shall not enter into any transaction of animals and animal products with commercial
- A formal education programme should be perused by the zoos for strengthening the education
- No zoo shall allow, within its campus, any recreation/entertainment infrastructure which is
inconsistent with the objectives of zoo management or which compromises with the security / health
requirements of the zoo animals.