India may be home to several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, but only a handful of them meet the criteria for inclusion in the IUCN Green List a global standard of good practices for protected areas launched by the conservation organisation last year. “Of 58 reserves evaluated, only nine (16 per cent) would possibly meet the IUCN Green List criteria, but many (a further 38 per cent) could reach this level with some targeted improvements in performance”, said James Hardcastle of IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme.
Noting that 14 per cent of the assessed protected areas were seen as being poor in terms of management, Hardcastle said that IUCN wishes to collaborate with India on using the Green List standard to improve the performance of the country’s conservation efforts. India has so far not become a parnter in the initiative, in which China and nations from Europe, Africa and South America are active members, added Hardcastle, Manager of IUCN’s Green List initiative. The Green List standard aims to create a ‘race to the top’ in conservation which will recognise and reward the best practices and results in the field.
A total of six Chinese national parks have found place on the IUCN Green List, Hardcastle told PTI, adding, “India is not included simply because it has not stepped forward as a partner with IUCN in this initiative. “That is normal, as the initiative is new. With more awareness and some promotion in India, it could perhaps be a new collaboration”. “IUCN would welcome an invitation to work with India on using the Green List standard to improve the performance of India’s conservation efforts”, he said.
Officially launched in November last year at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, the Green List is the first global standard of good practices for protected areas. So far, eight countries are established as partners with IUCN and have ‘Green List’ protected areas. A further 20 nations are interested in the partnership for 2015 and 2016, Hardcastle said.
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