News Release Details

IndianOil signs MoU with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for Transcontinental Relocation of ‘Cheetah’ in its historical range in India
New Delhi   02-Aug-2022

img-NTCA_02082022.jpgIndianOil signed an MoU with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for transcontinental relocation of ‘Cheetah’ in its historical range in India, in an event held today at Paryavaran Bhawan, New Delhi. The MoU was signed by Mr S M Vaidya, Chairman, IndianOil and Dr S P Yadav, Addl. Director General (Project Tiger) and Member Secretary (NTCA) in the presence of Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs, Shri Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Labour & Employment, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Shri Rameswar Teli, MoS, Petroleum & Natural Gas and Labour & Employment. This is in continuation with the MoU signed on 20th July 2022 between Government of India and Government of the Republic of Namibia on wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilization, for establishing the cheetah into the historical range in India. IndianOil will be contributing Rs.50.22 crore over 5 years for the project components viz. Cheetah Introduction, its Habitat Management & Protection, Eco Development, Staff Training and Veterinary Healthcare.

Under this project, a source population of 15-20 Cheetahs will be flown in from Namibia and South Africa and will be introduced at Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh. It is a national project involving National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Govt. of India and the State Govt. of Madhya Pradesh.

IndianOil is the first corporate which has come forward to support the “Project Cheetah” under CSR, as the project has not only national importance but also essential for balancing the ecosystem. Cheetah has a very special significance for the national conservation ethic and ethos. Understanding this, IndianOil is aiding the cause of bringing the Cheetah back to India, which would have equally important conservation ramifications. Cheetah restoration will be part of a prototype for restoration of original cheetah habitats, helping to stem the degradation and rapid loss of biodiversity. This project is in sync with IndianOil's strong environmental conscience and aligns with the company's focus on conserving India's natural habitat and heritage. It may be noted that IndianOil adopted Indian Single Horned Rhino as its mascot last year and, since then, the company has been at the forefront of India's Rhino conservation endeavors.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs, said, "Led by Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India is now leading the way as far as sustainable progress, and ecological conservation is concerned. Indian PSUs have been doing well to strengthen Government's sustainable endeavours, and the Cheetah Introduction project is one such example. This MoU between IndianOil and NTCA should serve as a template for a future project on restoring Biodiversity. Cheetahs are human-friendly and special, and their return to India is an important environmental leap."

Shri Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Labour & Employment, said, “This unique endeavour to introduce Cheetah back to India has been inspired by the vision of Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. We have been pursuing a development agenda that is centred around a focus on nature and biodiversity. The Cheetah Introduction project is in sync with that focus and is vital from environmental, cultural, and spiritual points of view”.

Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, said, "Appreciate IndianOil's environmental focus, and this pathbreaking endeavour should act as an inspiration for other corporates. I appeal to all to contribute to protecting India's biodiversity and wildlife".

Shri Rameswar Teli, MoS, Petroleum & Natural Gas and Labour & Employment, said, “I congratulate IndianOil and NTCA for collaborating to strengthen the Government of India's endeavours for restoring India's rich history and heritage. This milestone is also a major recognition of the Government of India's concerted forays to strengthen bilateral ties at the International level. We are thankful for the African nations who have come forward as India's green partners".

Mr S M Vaidya, Chairman, IndianOil, said, "The MoU between IndianOil and NTCA demonstrates the nation's resolve to nurture a greener, brighter and vibrant new India. I am sure that NTCA will steward this project on a mission mode, and let me assure everyone of IndianOil's steadfast commitment to supporting this endeavour at all times. I must add that this Cheetah Introduction Project is in sync with our priority of conserving India's natural habitat and heritage. Our mascot, the now famous IndianOil Rhino, stands firm as a testimony to that commitment".

NTCA is the nodal agency authorized by MoEF&CC for funding, supervision and hand holding. IndianOil will contribute its CSR funds to NTCA, which shall co-ordinate with the State Govt. of Madhya Pradesh and other agencies involved in the project.

About ‘Project Cheetah

‘Project Cheetah’ is one-of-a-kind projects in which a species is being restored in the country by bringing it from out of the country (from South Africa / Namibia). It is noteworthy that the subspecies of Cheetah which got extinct in India was Asiatic Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) and the subspecies being introduced back in the country is African Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus). Research has shown that genes of these two subspecies are the same.

The Cheetah introduction project in Kuno National Park involves creating a 500-hectare predator proof enclosure for a ‘soft release’ of the feline. Introduction would commence in a phased manner with few individuals after construction of the soft release enclosure and augmentation of protection, while other actions are under way. The first batch of Cheetah would be soft released in the enclosure with GPS / GSM or GPS / Satellite transmitters.

Dr. Uttiya Bhattacharyya
Executive Director (Corporate Communications)
Indian Oil Corporation Limited