5 August 2022.
Recently, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Oil Corporation to relocate cheetahs from Africa to India, under Project Cheetah. as a part of the MoU, the IOC will grant Rs 50.22 crore over four years period, for the project. Currently, the total cost of relocation project is Rs 75 crore.
- Indian Oil- NTCA MoU is in continuation with the MoU inked between India and Namibia on July 20, 2022 for wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilisation, to re-establish cheetah in historical range in India.
- Indian Oil will provide funds as a part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR). It will be used to reintroduce cheetah as well as for ecology development, habitat management & protection, veterinary healthcare and staff training.
- Indian Oil has become the first corporate to come forward to support ‘Project Cheetah’ under CSR.
- Project Cheetah is nationally important and is also essential to balance the ecosystem.
Relocation of Cheetah:
In India, Cheetahs got extinct in 1952 due to hunting activities. As a result, Union government initiated the ‘Cheetah Relocation’ project. This project is being implemented slowly after Supreme Court in allowed the Union Government to do so in January 2020. Earlier, India had planned to relocate Asiatic Cheetah to India from Iran. But plan changed to introduce African Cheetah, due to recent development in India-Iran relations. During 19th meeting of NCTA, Environment Ministry released ‘Action plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India’. Under the action plan, 50 African Cheetah from Namibia will be located to India in next 5 years. 10-12 Cheetah will be relocated during first year, in the Kuno Palpur National Park of Madhya Pradesh.