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Environment Minister launches ‘Gaj Yatra’ to mark World Elephant Day

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Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan haslaunched ‘Gaj Yatra’ on 12th of August 2017.The goal of World Elephant Day is to create awareness about the plight of elephants and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better care and management of captive and wild elephants.
Key Points:
i.It is a nationwide campaign to protect elephants on the occasion of World Elephant Day.
ii.The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range statesthat have wild elephants, using local art and craft.
iii.Vardhan has said that efforts for elephant conservation must bring about a qualitative improvement by the next World Elephant Day.
iv.The Environment Minister released the All India Census 2017 Report on elephants as also the Agreed Points of Action on Trans-Boundary Conservation of Elephants by India and Bangladesh.
v.A document is titled ‘Right of Passage’ on elephant corridors in India.
vi.A glimpse of Initiatives is taken for Elephant Conservation in India (2012-2017) was also released.
vii.It is based on Parliamentary Questions and Replies’ by ENVIS Centre, WWF-India and the Project Elephant Division, MoEF&CC.
viii.The publication covers the concerned environmental issues in the form of a compact disc.
ix.It can serve as a ready reference source for scientists, policy-makers, technocrats and others concerned with the cause of conservation and sustainable development.
x.During the period of the campaign, artists and craftsmen will create life-size works on the theme of elephants in places along the route of the roadshow.
xi.Actor and wildlife enthusiast, Ms. Dia Mirza, participated in the walk and run event organised on the occasion along with the children.
About World Elephant Day Background 
i.World Elephant Day is an annual global event celebrated across the world on August 12, dedicated to the preservation and protection of elephants.
ii.As per the available population estimates, there are about 400,000 African elephants and 40,000 Asian elephants.
iii.African elephants are listed as “vulnerable” and Asian elephants as “endangered” in the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
iv.World Elephant Day is celebrated to focus the attention of various stakeholders in supporting various conservation policies to help protect elephants.
v.The elephant is part of India’s animal heritage and the Government celebrates this day to spread awareness about the conservation of the species.