India is now the co-chair of the IUCN-supported Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) for 3 years till November 2023 after replacing South Korea. Now India is responsible to assist and help other Asian countries in managing the protected areas.
The APAP is chaired by IUCN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature) Asia. It is co-chaired by the member countries of APAP on a rotational basis.
About Asia Protected Areas Partnership
- It was started in 2014, at the IUCN Congress in Australia.
- Its function is to assist governments and different stakeholders to collaborate for the administration and management of protected areas (PA).
- There are 21 members in APAP including Nepal, South Korea, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, China and Japan.
Protected areas are the areas that require protection because of their natural, ecological or cultural values. The following kinds of protected areas designated by IUCN are in India:
National parks, Wildlife sanctuaries, Biosphere reserves, Reserved and protected forests, Community reserves, Private protected areas.
To read further, click here
Why was India selected?
Due to the great track record of India in the protection of wildlife species. India has a number of success stories like conservation of elephant, tiger, snow leopard, Asiatic Lion, Great Indian Bustard, Indian Gangetic Dolphin, etc which makes the image of India at the international level better than other countries.
In December 2020, leopard population in India showed an increase of 62% in just four years. Similarly, 29% increase in Asiatic Lions in Gujarat Gir Forests in just 5 years.
Great Indian Bustard:
It is one of the most charismatic bird species of India, but is near extinction with a population less than 100. It is a large bird with long bare legs and an ostrich like appearance. It is among the heaviest of the flying birds in the world. The Thar desert also called (The Great Indian desert) is the one and only critical care unit of Great Indian Bustard in the world.
Indian Gangetic Dolphin:
The Indian Gangetic dolphin is one of only three freshwater dolphins left in the world. But it is also near extinction with only 1800 left. These dolphins are nearly blind as they live in muddy water so there is less requirement of vision. They catch their prey with the help of echolocation which is a technique by which bats, dolphins, etc determine the location of objects using reflected sound.
India’s Role and Responsibility
India’s role is to assist the countries of Asia Region on the management of the protected areas and their conservation.