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Import of cheetahs to India could work

Dr Laurie Marker, founder and executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, issued the following statement regarding the Indian Supreme Court’s decision regarding the cheetah re-introduction project in India: “CCF is not a part of any of the negotiations or decisions being made on the Indian side and therefore we can only continue to provide advice and support, as we have thus far.” The Indian government and Dr M.K Ranjitsinh, who served as the Indian government’s first director of Wildlife and now chairman of the Wild Trust of India (WTI), planned to reintroduce cheetahs in stages over the next decade.
To this effect, a team of experts including representatives from the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), Cheetah OutReach, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Cat Specialist Group, Re-introduction Specialist Group and Veterinary Specialist Group, and Oxford University’s WILDCRU, met in 2009 with Indian authorities and forestry directors from various regions.
A report of these meetings concluded that: “With the establishment of a network of protected areas, implementation of effective wildlife legislation and a dramatic change in the conservation ethos and awareness in the country inter alia, the original cause for the extinction of the cheetah in India has been adequately addressed.”
Careful consideration of the genetics of the Asiatic cheetah and its only remaining population found in Iran (less than 100) led to the conclusion that the cheetahs participating in this project should be imported from southern Africa, where the largest populations of wild cheetah still exist. Furthermore, the fact that the Asiatic and African cheetahs are genetically so similar, according to cat specialists including world renowned geneticist Dr Stephen O’Brien, and that there are no living Indian cheetahs, there is no concern about mixing populations.
Field inspections by the Indian research team determined that the most viable release area for the first re-introduction is the Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, a 6800 square kilometre reserve in central India. The sanctuary was chosen as it is home to many species, including a variety of antelope, deer, wolves, and leopards. The absence of lions, the cheetah’s non-agressive nature, and work already done with the communities were also decisive factors. By returning cheetahs to a grasslands ecosystem where they used to thrive, the historic evolutionary balance would be restored and locally over-abundant prey species would be regulated; therefore a top-down effect of a large predator would enhance and maintain the diversity in lower trophic levels of the ecosystem, as explained in the group’s report.
In an advisory capacity, and in consultation with the re-introduction team, CCF has been working with the WTI and India’s authorities to discuss the best strategies for this re-introduction and providing its expertise based on proven successful programmes implemented in Namibia and other areas of Africa.
CCF believes that the project is sustainable to the extent that all recommendations made by the international consultants and Indian research teams are followed, and these include necessary infrastructure changes as well as community involvement and education. CCF advises that local communities be counselled in living harmoniously with wildlife, particularly predators, through training and communications programmes. To this effect, CCF emphasised the success of the conservancies in Namibia –which have become a model in conservation management where collaborative partnerships of neighbouring communities work together to develop and implement sustainable livestock and wildlife management systems.
Any cheetahs selected for the project will require permits from both the importing and exporting governments, as well as from Convention of International Trade for Endangered Species (CITES).

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.