Urging children to play a leading role in the protection of wildlife and environment, Minister of State of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, has said that our relationship with environment must be based on cooperation. Addressing a gathering of school children on the occasion of the conclusion of the national programme of Wildlife Week at the National Zoological Park here today, Dr. Sharma stated that the persistence of children can really be utilized to further the objective of wildlife conservation. He added that the number of each animal species is dictated by nature and pointed out that it is the human beings who have invaded the forests that are home to wildlife. Dr. Sharma told the children that it is only in our country that rivers, forests and animals are worshipped. Speaking on the occasion, Director General, Forests, Dr. Siddhant Das said that no programme can succeed without peoples’ participation. He emphasized that though India has only 2.5 per cent of land of the world, it is home to about 18% of wildlife population and added that tiger, lion, rhinoceros and crocodile are surviving and thriving in the country. Dr. Das also underlined the difference between in-situ conservation, wherein species are conserved wherever they originate and ex-situ conservation, where animal species are shifted out of the national park to a zoological park for their conservation.Earlier, Dr. Mahesh Sharma inaugurated a bio-methanation plant under an MoU between BARC and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The capacity of the bio-methanation plant will be 3 Metric Tonnes (MT) per day. The Minister also planted a sapling in the premises of National Zoological Park and also carried out a cleanliness drive under Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan along with the children. Wildlife Week is celebrated every year from October 2. The celebration of Wildlife Week started in the year 1952. Additional Director General (Forest), Mr. M.S Negi, Additional Director General (Forest), Mr. Saibal Dasgputa, Inspector General (Wildlife), MoEF&CC, Mr. Soumitra Dasgputa and Director, National Zoological Park, New Delhi, Ms. Renu Singh, as well as senior officers and officials from National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) were among those present on the occasion.