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Current Affairs

New Delhi Declaration signed for trans-boundary conservation of Rhinos

Date: 01 March 2019 Tags: National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Biodiversity, Conventions

Five Asian rhino range countries- India, Bhutan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal have adopted New Delhi Declaration to strengthen trans-boundary collaboration among India, Nepal and Bhutan to secure future of Asian rhino species. It was adopted at 2nd Asian Rhino Range States meeting held in New Delhi.

2nd Asian Rhino Range States meeting

It was organised by Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change (MoEFCC), and International Union for Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission (IUCN), Asian Rhino Specialist Group along with WWF-India, International Rhino Foundation and Aaranyak, an NGO

Outcomes of this meeting

  • Five Asian rhino range countries agree to review the population of three Asian rhino species (greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatra) in every four years to secure its future.
  • They also agreed to strengthen protection regimes, intelligence gathering and real time sharing of intelligence information on rhino crime and its horn trade to secure rhino population.
  • They will also initiate research on various habitat parameters, including invasive species threatening the suitable habitats of Asian rhinos and take optimally manage the habitats.
  • It has also decided to explore possibilities of expanding rhino ranges within country or between rhino range countries for optimal population management.
  • They also decided to identify connectivity and corridors across international boundaries and keep them functional, safe and secure for free movement of Asian rhinos and other wildlife.

New Delhi Declaration

  • It underscores trans-boundary collaboration among India, Nepal, and Bhutan for conservation and protection of the greater one-horned rhino.
  • It gives emphasis on expanding rhino domains within country or between rhino range countries. Indonesia and Malaysia are the other Asian countries where the last of the rhinos live.
  • Asian rhino range countries will make best use of all available individuals and technologies to accelerate natural and conservation breeding of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino.
  • Replicate or develop upon Kaziranga rhino conservation success story for Sumatran as well as Javan rhino. Kaziranga had less than 10 rhinos when it was declared protected area for this spieces in 1905.
  • National Rhino Conservation Strategy for India: It calls for active engagement between India and Nepal to protect species.
  • Single population of rhinos in Sukla-Phanta (Nepal), Valmiki Tiger Reserve (India) and Chitwan National Park (Nepal) and Dudhwa (India) is separated by political boundary between two countries.

Background

  • Indian one-horned rhinoceros: Its current global population is 3,584. Assam’s Kaziranga National Park has largest with 2,938 rhinos and Nepal has 646. There are no rhinos in Bhutan, but some from Manas National Park in adjoining Assam or Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal are known to cross over occasionally.
  • Javan and Sumatran rhinos: It was once ranging from China to Bangladesh, but now are nearing extinction. Sumatran rhino is smallest of all rhino species and only Asian rhino with two horns. It has become extinct in wild in Malaysia. Only one is found now in Sabah island of Malaysia and Indonesia has few.