Sunday, August 7, 2022

Indian Oil signs MoU with NTCA for transcontinental relocation of ‘Cheetah’

Indian Oil signed an MoU with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for the transcontinental relocation of ‘Cheetah’ in its historical range in India

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New Delhi: Indian Oil signed an MoU with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for the transcontinental relocation of ‘Cheetah’ in its historical range in India, in an event held on August 2 at Paryavaran Bhawan, New Delhi. The MoU was signed by Indian Oil Chairman SM Vaidya and Addl. Director General (Project Tiger) and Member Secretary (NTCA) Dr SP Yadav in the presence of Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and others.

This is in continuation with the MoU signed on July 20, 2022, between the Government of India and the Government of the Republic of Namibia on wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilisation, for establishing the cheetah into the historical range in India. Indian Oil will be contributing Rs 50.22 crore over 5 years for the project components viz. Cheetah Introduction, its Habitat Management & Protection, Eco Development, Staff Training and Veterinary Healthcare.

Under this project, a source population of 15-20 Cheetahs will be flown in from Namibia and South Africa and will be introduced at Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh. It is a national project involving the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Govt. of India and the State Govt. of Madhya Pradesh.

Indian Oil is the first corporate which has come forward to support “Project Cheetah” under CSR, as the project has not only national importance but also essential for balancing the ecosystem. Cheetah has a very special significance for the national conservation ethic and ethos. Understanding this, Indian Oil is aiding the cause of bringing the Cheetah back to India, which would have equally important conservation ramifications. Cheetah restoration will be part of a prototype for restoration of original cheetah habitats, helping to stem the degradation and rapid loss of biodiversity. This project is in sync with Indian Oil’s strong environmental conscience and aligns with the company’s focus on conserving India’s natural habitat and heritage. It may be noted that Indian Oil adopted Indian Single Horned Rhino as its mascot last year and, since then, the company has been at the forefront of India’s Rhino conservation endeavors.

Speaking on the occasion, Puri said, “Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is now leading the way as far as sustainable progress, and ecological conservation is concerned. Indian PSUs have been doing well to strengthen Government’s sustainable endeavours, and the Cheetah Introduction project is one such example. This MoU between Indian Oil and NTCA should serve as a template for a future project on restoring Biodiversity. Cheetahs are human-friendly and special, and their return to India is an important environmental leap.”

Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Labour & Employment (MoEF&CC) Bhupender Yadav said, “This unique endeavour to introduce Cheetah back to India has been inspired by the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We have been pursuing a development agenda that is centred around a focus on nature and biodiversity. The Cheetah Introduction project is in sync with that focus and is vital from environmental, cultural, and spiritual points of view.”

Speaking on this Indian Oil’s Chairman SM Vaidya said, “The MoU between Indian Oil and NTCA demonstrates the nation’s resolve to nurture a greener, brighter and vibrant new India. I am sure that NTCA will steward this project on a mission mode, and let me assure everyone of Indian Oil’s steadfast commitment to supporting this endeavour at all times. I must add that this Cheetah Introduction Project is in sync with our priority of conserving India’s natural habitat and heritage. Our mascot, the now famous Indian Oil Rhino, stands firm as a testimony to that commitment”.

NTCA is the nodal agency authorized by MoEF&CC for funding, supervision and hand holding. Indian Oil will contribute its CSR funds to NTCA, which shall coordinate with the State Govt. of Madhya Pradesh and other agencies involved in the project.

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