WASHINGTON: US has offered to help India in the country's efforts to track and protect Bengal tigers, as the two countries seek to strengthen collaboration in wildlife conservation and combating wildlife trafficking.
The two sides have finalised the text of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this direction. Details of the finalised agreement were also reflected in the joint statement issued after the India US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue yesterday. The US has offered support to India's Project Tiger designed to protect the population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats.
The two countries agreed to work together to use the latest technology to combat poaching and protect of tigers in India, the joint statement said.
Under the auspices of the MoU, the US will support Project Tiger and work with India to deploy technology to track and protect the country's remaining tigers.
According to the State Department, the MoU includes efforts to protect critical habitat, human resources development in scientific information management in support of conservation programs, build public awareness and stabilise and increase populations of threatened and endangered species.
It also includes efforts to strengthen law enforcement capacity, and combat illegal harvesting and associated trade in wildlife species, consistent with national laws and regulations.
The agreement seeks cooperation regionally and globally, to further the mutual objective of combating the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products through enhancing dialogue and sharing of best practices, capacity building efforts, and strengthening cooperation in regional and global fora.
Noting the importance of preserving the environment and sustaining diverse ecosystems, and acknowledging the rise of international criminal networks engaged in wildlife trafficking, the Sides appreciated finalisation of an MOU to enhance their cooperation on conservation and combat wildlife trafficking, the joint statement said.