India will collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia to increase the population of three species of Asian rhinos, including the Greater one-horned rhinoceros found in the Indian sub-continent.
The five rhino range nations signed a declaration 'The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019' for the conservation and protection of the species at the recently held Second Asian Rhino Range Countries meeting here.
During the meet, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan affirmed India's commitment towards rhino conservation.
The declaration was signed to conserve and review the population of the Greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran rhinos every four years to reassess the need for joint actions to secure their future.
"The national strategy will pave the path for long term conservation of the Greater one-horned rhinos in India. I also wish the range country of critically endangered Javan and Sumatra rhinos success in their endeavour to secure the future of the two critically endangered rhinos in Asia," Vardhan said.
The declaration includes undertaking studies on health issues of the rhinos, their potential diseases and taking necessary steps; collaborating and strengthening wildlife forensics for the purpose of investigation and strengthening of transboundary collaboration among India, Nepal and Bhutan for the conservation and protection of the Greater one-horned rhino.
The meet was organised by the environment, forest and climate change ministry in collaboration with IUCN Asian Rhino Specialist Group, WWF- India and Aaranyak.
It was attended by NGOs such as US-based International Rhino Foundation and Global Wildlife Conservation; Zoological Society of London Nepal Office and the WWF's US, India, Indonesia and Nepal chapters.
The Wildlife Conservation Nepal, National Trust for Nature Conservation of Nepal, Yayasan Badak of Indonesia and Freeland Foundation of Thailand also participated in the meeting.
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