World Wildlife Day is observed annually on March 3 to raise awareness about wildlife and educate people about the diversity and importance of flora and fauna across the world.
On the occasion of World Wildlife Day 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended people working for the protection of wildlife. He tweeted, ‘I salute all those working towards wildlife protection. Be it lions, tigers and leopards, India is seeing a steady rise in the population of various animals. We should do everything possible to ensure protection of our forests and safe habitats for animals.’ Corporate social responsibility has been making strides in wildlife protection. Here are some companies spending crores on strategic wildlife CSR initiatives.
Whale Shark Project
Since its inception in 2004, the Whale Shark Conservation Project has grown by leaps and bounds and it reflects in more than 802 whale sharks being rescued and released. It was launched in a partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India and Gujarat Forest Department. The campaign has also been consistently raising awareness, educating and changing perceptions about the world’s largest fish, protected by law – yet hunted.
Coral Reef Restoration
Corals are delicate creatures that are sensitive. Tata Chemicals, with an aim to conserve them, joined hands with Wildlife Trust of India and Gujarat State Forest Department for the conservation of the reefs. In the first phase from 2008 to 2014 the initiative focused on mapping the biodiversity and the boundary of the Mithapur coral reef. It established that there are 28 different species of hard coral. The second phase from 2014 to 2018 focused on getting the corals from Lakshadweep to transplant them at Mithapur coral reef.
The focus now has been on establishing a coral garden at Mithapur and a coral nursery. Tata Chemicals has also been able to establish over 3149.6 sq m of artificial coral reef. With the improvement in the coral density, the fish catch has also started to gradually improve in Mithapur as compared to the adjoining areas.
Though not commonly known, pollination insects play a significant role in sustaining human ecology and ecosystem. Almost 75% of the food crops – like vegetables, fruits, spices, nuts etc. that we consume are influenced by pollinators. Tata Chemicals launched a CSR project in the Okhamandal region of Gujarat in 2019. To give further momentum to the initiative, the company aims to have partnerships in the communities for protection of the indigenous vegetation of the region.
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), which is setting up a nuclear power plant in Gorakhpur village of Fatehabad district, has come up with a CSR project to protect and preserve wildlife in Dhangar and Kajlaheri villages of Fatehabad district.
The PSU is likely to spend Rs 1.35 crore under corporate social responsibility to develop a community reserve area for the protection of engendered species of blackbucks and soft-shell turtles in Dhangar and Kajlaheri villages of Fatehabad district. NPCIL’s project director says that around Rs. 65 lakh would be spent on the turtle project in Kajlaheri and the blackbuck project in Dhangar village is likely to cost about Rs. 70 lakh.
A pond spread over five acres on the outskirts of Kajlaheri village is the home of about 200 rare turtles and the residents of this area have been taking care these. Similarly, the area around Dhagar village is a hub of blackbucks. The NPCIL has decided to contribute in developing two spots as per the guidelines of the Haryana Forest and Wildlife Department.
Yeida and NIAL
The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (Yeida), along with the Noida International Airport Limited, has decided to spend Rs. 25 crore annually on wildlife protection and conservation in the 25 km buffer zone to be demarcated around the site of proposed international airport in Jewar. The move comes after several discussions with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) that is about to finalise the conservation plan. The Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL), a nodal agency to monitor the airport project, had signed a memorandum of understating with WII on August 30, 2019 for the preparation of a conservation plan.