The Centre has launched a six-year project called SECURE Himalaya, to ensure conservation of locally and globally significant biodiversity, land and forest resources in the high Himalayan ecosystem spread over four states in India.
Protection of snow leopard and other endangered species and their habitats is one of the key components of the project which will also focus on securing livelihoods of the people in the region and enhancing enforcement to reduce wildlife crime.
The project was launched by the Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the inaugural day of the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference.
The SECURE – securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems – is meant for specific landscapes. It include Changthang (Jammu and Kasmir), Lahaul – Pangi and Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh), Gangotri – Govind and Darma – Byans Valley in Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand) and Kanchenjunga – Upper Teesta Valley (Sikkim).
Enhanced enforcement efforts and monitoring under the project will also curb illegal trade in some medicinal and aromatic plants which are among the most threatened species in these landscapes.
The minister on the occasion also launched India Wildlife mobile App and released the country’s National Wildlife Action Plan for the period 2017-2031. The Plan focuses on preservation of genetic diversity and sustainable development through 103 wildlife conservation actions and 250 projects.