Fri, 02 Jun 2023

New Delhi [India], May 25 (ANI): National Tiger Conservation Authority on Thursday formed a Cheetah Project Steering Committee and Dr Rajesh Gopal, Secretary General of Global Tiger Forum has been appointed as the Chairman of the committee.

The decision to form the committee was taken in a meeting with the Additional Chief Secretary of the Madhya Pradesh government which was chaired by the Director-General of Forests and Special Secretary (DGFSS).

"As per the decision taken in a meeting with ACS, Government of MP, chaired by the DGFSS, in supersession of O.M of even number dated 22nd September 2022 on the Cheetah Task Force, the National Tiger Conservation Authority on Thursday constitutes a Cheetah Project Steering Committee and Dr Rajesh Gopal, Secretary General, Global Tiger Forum, made Chairman," the statement by the National Tiger Conservation Authority said.

As per the office Memorandum by National Tiger Conservation Authority Statutory Body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the members of the committee are RN Mehrotra, former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, PR Sinha, former Director of Wildlife Institute of India among others.

"The consulting panel of international cheetah experts (for advice as and when required) are Prof Adrian Tordiffe, Veterinary Wildlife Specialist, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa, Dr Laurie Marker, CCF, Namibia, Dr Andrew John Fraser, Farm Olievenbosch, South Africa. Vincent van dan Merwe: Manager, Cheetah Metapopulation Project, The Metapopulation Initiative, South Africa," the statement further said.

NTCA further said that the terms of Reference of the Steering Committee include reviewing progress, monitoring and advice on the Cheetah introduction to the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department and NTCA, opening the Cheetah habitat for eco-tourism and suggesting regulations in this regard.

"Suggestions on community interface and for their involvement in the project activities. The Steering Committee shall be in force for a period of two years and will hold at least one meeting every month, besides taking field visits as and when required," the authority said.

As per the NTCA, the committee may invite any expert for consultation, as and when required.

"Panel of International Cheetah experts shall be consulted for advice or invited to India as per specific requirement," it added. (ANI)

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