WII Current Affairs

WII to house India’s first tiger repository

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) will house the India’s first repository on tigers, under its new Tiger Cell.

The repository will consist of huge database on tiger conservation and population estimation which has been prepared with collaborated effort with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

India’s first tiger cell was set up at the WII campus in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the NTCA and WII.

The cell will house a database of tigers as well as DNA and stripes samples of the big cats from over 50 tiger reserves. It will aid conservation efforts by preventing poaching and providing an update on tiger numbers.

About Wildlife Institute of India (WII)

  • WII is an autonomous institution under the Union Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change. It is based in Chandrabani, Dehradun.
  • Functions: It conducts specialised research in areas of study like Endangered Species, Biodiversity, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Policy, Wildlife Forensics, Habitat Ecology, Spatial Modelling, Ecodevelopment, and Climate Change.
  • Research facilities: WII’s research facility includes Remote Sensing, Forensics and Geographic Information System (GIS) etc. It has contributed in studying and protecting wildlife in India and also has popularized wildlife studies and careers.

About National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA)

  • NTCA is a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change.
  • It was provided statutory status by the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006 which had amended Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • It addresses the administrative as well as ecological concerns for conserving tigers, by providing a statutory basis for protection of tiger reserves.
  • It also provides strengthened institutional mechanisms for the protection of ecologically sensitive areas and endangered species.
  • It ensures enforcing of guidelines for tiger conservation and monitoring compliance of the same.
  • It also places motivated and trained officers having good track record as Field Directors of tiger reserves.

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Union Cabinet approves proposal to sign agreement with UNESCO

Union Cabinet gave its nod to a proposal to sign an agreement with UNESCO for establishment of a Centre for World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia-Pacific region.

This centre will be established as a category-2 centre (C2C) of the UN body at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

By signing this agreement WII Dehradun will be first existing institute to be accorded recognition by UNESC. It will be also the first institute to get natural heritage recognition by UNESCO as currently there are 9 C2C institutes related to cultural heritage.

It should be noted that this agreement has been mooted by the Union Environment Ministry. While, Union Government will provide capacity building for establishing this centre in order to support countries in the region for up keeping of heritage and natural sites.

Centre for World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia-Pacific region will provide

  • Services for evaluation and preparation of proposals for new cultural and heritage sites in Asia-Pacific region.
  • Capacity building and training on management and monitoring of heritage sites.

Thus its establishment will have a catalytic effect in case of improving management of heritage sites in the country. Presently, India has 32 UNESCO heritage sites of which 7 are natural sites and 25 are cultural sites.

Implications: Operationalization of the UNESCO C2C at WII, Dehradun will enable India to establish leadership in the Asia-Pacific region that comprises of around 50 countries. This leadership will be in matters related to management, identification and monitoring of world heritage sites and to build capacity of a range of professionals and stakeholders.

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