IUCN World Congress pitches for GIB conservation in India | Nagpur News

Nagpur: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress has voted in favour of the motion titled ‘Preventing extinction of the Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) in India’.
The motions are the mechanism by which members of the IUCN influence and guide the policy and programme of the IUCN, which is the world’s largest and the most diverse environmental network with more than 1,500 members — including states, government agencies, NGOs, and indigenous peoples’ organizations — and over 15,000 international experts associated with its six commissions.
As the only international conservation forum that brings governments, civil society, and indigenous peoples’ organizations to the same table, the IUCN members’ assembly carries a powerful mandate. Members vote to approve motions, and once adopted, they become resolutions and recommendations, and therefore the body of IUCN’s general policy that guides conservation strategies across the world.
The Corbett Foundation, a member of the IUCN, took the lead in reposting this motion in May 2019 and received support from organizations like Aaranyak, BNHS, Gujarat Ecology Society, Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT), Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), and global bodies like BirdLife International and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (UK). Due to the pandemic, the resolution was passed only last month.
The resolution preventing extinction of the GIBs (Ardeotis nigriceps) in India would help to further intensify and strengthen the efforts to conserve and protect the last surviving population of the birds. Listed as critically endangered, less than 150 GIBs remain in the wild today, mainly in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, while a few are sporadically reported in the Cholistan parts of Pakistan adjoining Rajasthan and Gujarat.
In the last couple of decades, the steep decline in the population of GIB is primarily due to their collision with the overhead power lines which have rapidly increased around the bustard habitat.
In addition to this, hunting, uncontrolled livestock grazing, predation by feral dogs, changing crop patterns, indiscriminate use of pesticides, and conversion of grasslands and semi-arid regions for projects are other reasons for the decline of GIBs.
Concerned over this, the Supreme Court on April 19, 2021, had asked to lay underground power lines passing through identified GIB habitats. The court has also ordered installation of bird-diverters on the power lines till these are made underground.

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