Eight local cheetahs to be translocated to India following landmark agreement
Namibia is busy facilitating permits for eight cheetahs to be exported to India in August, depending on the permit application process and capturing of the animals, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism recently said.
The developments follow a landmark agreement on wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilisation signed on Wednesday by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, and Bhupender Yadav, India’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Ministerial spokesperson, Romeo Munyunda said the agreement facilitates cooperation in biodiversity conservation and sustainable wildlife management.
“Specifically, the two countries seek to promote conservation and restoration of cheetahs in their former range areas from which they went extinct. This will enhance the further conservation of species by diversifying their global range. Furthermore, countries are to share and exchange expertise and capacity to promote cheetah conservation in both countries,” he added.
Muyunda said in addition India and Namibia will share good practices in technological applications, livelihood generation for local communities living in wildlife habitats, and sustainable management of biodiversity.
The two countries will support advances in these spheres at international forums including meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna.
“The countries also agreed to collaborate in areas of climate change, environmental governance, environmental impact assessments, pollution and waste management, and other areas of mutual interest,” he added.
Muyunda said the agreement makes provision for exchange of personnel for training and education in wildlife management, anmd for sharing relevant technical expertise.
“The Indian side will train and support Namibian personnel in smart patrol, population estimation techniques and the use of special equipment for surveillance and monitoring.
The High Commissioner of India to Namibia, Prashant Agrawal said, the Commission has been privileged to facilitate this agreement, which also covers the transfer of a few cheetahs from Namibia for reintroduction in India.
“Cheetahs are the only large carnivore that has gone extinct in India post its independence, and their introduction back has a special significance as India marks its 75th Independence Anniversary this year,” he said.
According to Agrawal, the unique intercontinental trans-location would be a first of its kind project and all necessary preparations and training are underway to welcome the first cheetahs from Namibia to Kuno National Park in the State of Madhya Pradesh in India.