WILDLIFE DECLINE: Ganga Singh

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Ganga: Wildlife on the brink of extinction

By Innis Francis innis.francis@trinidadexpress.com

MORE than 10,000 hunters purchase hunting permits from the Forestry Division's Wildlife Section each year and the estimated value of the game meat is in the tens of millions of dollars.

This was one of the disclosures made in the Draft National Wildlife Policy that is now out for comment.

Yesterday, a public consultation on the policy was held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts south campus, in San Fernando.

The function was addressed by Environment and Water Resources Minister Ganga Singh who said despite superficial amendments to the Conservation of Wildlife Act, there continues to be a deterioration of the country's wildlife resources.

He said, "growing population pressures, industrialisation and unsustainable utilisation of the country's biological resources have resulted in the significant deterioration of the natural environment."

Singh said because of the high biological diversity of the country within a small geographic area, relatively small incremental losses in natural areas can have serious impacts on the ecosystem.

He said that many have noted the decline in some wildlife species, and it was now imperative that a policy be developed to sustainably manage the country's wildlife resources.

Yesterday's discussion included the protection of threatened wildlife species and the maintaining of viable populations of native wildlife species.

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