The MoU focuses on Wildlife conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity between the two countries; Cheetah reintroduction project in India to restore historic evolutionary balance contributing to global conservation efforts
The Government of India and the Government of the Republic of Namibia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on wildlife conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, today, to establish the cheetah into India’s historical range.
The MoU facilitates the development of mutually beneficial relationships to promote wildlife conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity based on the principles of mutual respect, sovereignty, equality and the best interests of both India and Namibia.
The main areas of the MoU are:
- Conservation of biodiversity with a particular focus on the conservation and restoration of cheetahs in their former ranges where they are extinct,
- Sharing and exchanging expertise and capacities aimed at promoting cheetah conservation in the two countries,
- Wildlife conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity by sharing good practices in
- Application of technology, livelihood creation mechanisms for local communities living in wildlife habitats, and sustainable management of biodiversity.
- Collaboration in the fields of climate change, environmental governance, environmental impact assessment, pollution and waste management, and other fields of mutual interest.
- Exchange of personnel for training and education in wildlife management, including sharing of technical expertise, where relevant.
Cheetahs have a very special meaning for national conservation ethics and ethos. Bringing the cheetah back to India would have equally important conservation consequences. The Cheetah Restoration will be part of a prototype restoration of the Cheetah’s native habitat and biodiversity, helping to stem the rapid degradation and loss of biodiversity.
Among large carnivores, the conflict of interest to humans is lowest for cheetahs, as they pose no threat to humans and do not usually attack large livestock. Bringing back apex predators restores historical evolutionary balance resulting in cascading effects at multiple ecosystem levels leading to better management and restoration of wildlife habitats (grassland, scrub and open forest ecosystems), conservation of cheetah prey and sympatric and top endangered species. – down effect of large predators that increase and maintain diversity in lower trophic levels of the ecosystem.
The main objective of the Cheetah reintroduction project in India is to establish a viable cheetah metapopulation in India that allows the cheetah to perform its functional role as an apex predator and provides space for cheetah expansion in its historical range thereby contributing to its global conservation efforts. .
Surveys for 10 sites were conducted between 2010 and 2012. Of the potential sites evaluated for their feasibility to establish a cheetah population in India according to IUCN guidelines for reintroduction taking into account the viability of the species according to demographics, genetics and socioeconomic conflicts and livelihoods, Ancient National Parks in the state Madhya Pradesh is considered ready to accept cheetahs with the least management intervention as a lot of investment has been made in this Protected Area to reintroduce Asian lions.
The location of the presence of Cheetahs from South Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe) was used in conjunction with relevant eco-climate covariates to model the equivalent niche space in India using the Maximum Entropy Model. The analysis shows that the climatic niche of cheetahs from southern Africa is in India with Ancient National Parks which has a high probability of suitable cheetah habitat.
The action plan for cheetah translocation in Ancient National Parks has been developed in accordance with IUCN guidelines and takes into account the assessment of prey location and density, current carrying capacity of cheetahs in Ancient National Parks, among other criteria.
While the current carrying capacity of the Ancient National Park is a maximum of 21 cheetahs, once restored, the larger landscape can accommodate about 36 cheetahs. Carrying capacity can be further increased by including the remaining portion of the Ancient Wildlife Division (1,280 sq km) through prey recovery.
Financial and administrative support for the cheetah reintroduction program in India will be provided by KLHK&CC through the NTCA. Participation of the Government and corporate institutions through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will be encouraged for additional funding at the State and Central levels. Wildlife Institute of India (WII), national and international carnivore/cheetah experts/institutions will provide technical support and knowledge for the programme.
KLHK&CC, NTCA, WII, State Department of Forestry officials will be socialized to ensure successful reintroduction of cheetahs in India, through capacity building programs in Cheetah conservation reserves in Africa. In addition, Cheetah managers and biologists from Africa will be invited to provide training to their Indian counterparts.
The Ancient National Park Management will be responsible for monitoring which is important for protection and management while the cheetah research team will monitor for research. Various outreach & awareness programs will be carried out to encourage the participation of local villagers. Sarpanches (village heads), local leaders, teachers, social workers, religious leaders and NGOs will be given a better role in conservation. Awareness programs are also planned for schools, colleges and villages to raise awareness about conservation and the various schemes available with the forestry department. A public awareness campaign is underway for the local community with a local mascot named “Chintu Cheetah” The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh has asked all state officials and elected members of the state assembly from constituencies around the Ancient National Park to disseminate information regarding the cheetah-human interface.
As per the directive of the Indian Supreme Court in 2020, the release of cheetahs in India is overseen by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (KLHK&CC), guided and directed by a committee of experts appointed by the Indian Supreme Court.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Press Information Bureau: Government of India.
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India-Namibia sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on wildlife conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
Source link India-Namibia sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on wildlife conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity