India to be a co-chair of regional forum to conserve wildlife habitats
India will be the co-chair of the IUCN-supported Asia
Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) for three years after successfully
increasing population of wild animals such as tigers, lions and leopards
through protecting their habitats.
It would assist other
Asian countries in managing their protected areas.
India will replace South Korea which held this position for
three years till November, 2020.
As co-chair, India will play a pivotal leadership role in
addressing and assisting the countries of Asia Region on conservation agenda
and ‘protected area management’ at country as well as transboundary cooperation
India has a number of success stories such conservation of
tiger, elephant, Asiatic lion, snow leopard, Great Indian Bustard, Indian
Gangetic Dolphin and a number of other flagship species which can be showcased
at international level through the platform of APAP.
India had in December released its leopard population
estimates, showing an increase of 62% in its number in four year – from 7,910
in 2014 to 12,852 in 2018.
Similarly, it recorded 29% increase in population of Asiatic
Lions, living in Gujarat Gir Forest, in the past five years – from 523 in 2015
to 674 in 2020.
In 2019, the country had released population data of tigers
showing an increase of 33% in the number of big cats – from 2,226 in 2014 to
2,967 in 2018, making India a home to 75% of the tiger’s global population.
APAP : A Fact File
The APAP is a regional platform to help governments and
other stakeholders to collaborate for more effective management of protected
areas (PA) in the region.
The APAP currently consists of 21 members from 17 countries
including China, Japan, South Korea, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The APAP, formally launched at the IUCN World Parks
Congress in Australia in 2014, is chaired by IUCN Asia and co-chaired by an
APAP country member.