India to be a co-chair of regional forum to conserve wildlife habitats

Highlights:

  • 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 levels.
  • 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.