WWF-India's tiger conservation project gets Nokia boost

WWF-India's tiger conservation project gets Nokia boost

Monday, 28 July 2008, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: The World Wildlife Fund-India's tiger conservation project has received a boost with mobile phone major Nokia pitching in to work toward providing education to villagers for sustainable development, and identifying alternative livelihood programmes for villagers around national parks, specifically Ranthambore in Rajasthan.

"It is a matter of great privilege for Nokia India to be associated with WWF for the cause of tiger conservation that needs immediate intervention," D. Shivakumar, the company's vice president and managing director, said at the unveiling of the initiative here Sunday.

"This endeavour for tiger conservation is an extension of our commitment towards creating a positive impact on the society beyond our technology, products and services," he added.

"Leadership calls for responsibility and as India's most trusted brand, we are committed to contribute to the holistic and sustainable development of the environment where we operate," Shivakumar maintained.

Toward this end, WWF-India and Nokia also unveiled a "Tiger Wall of Hope" to draw attention to the dwindling numbers of the animal in the country.

The wall has been created out of original pugmarks embedded in Plaster of Paris and encased in acrylic.

"These pugmarks are a grim reminder of the critical numbers of tigers left in our wild," WWF-India secretary general and CEO Ravi Singh said on the occasion.

"We are proud to partner with Nokia in India. Globally, Nokia has been involved in several conservation initiatives with the WWF Network and we are happy to see this relationship extend here.

"This is an important step in bringing corporate institutional support for conservation, significantly tiger conservation, in India. This is an important beginning at this critical time for conservation in our country," Singh added.

As part of the initiative, Nokia will work with WWF-India in three critical areas around Ranthambore:

* Strengthening existing community institutions and development of further institutions to facilitate community empowerment,

* Providing education for sustainable development and communication outreach to schoolteachers and students, villagers, civil society communities around the park and forest personnel.

* Strengthening sustainable and alternative livelihood programmes and linking them with existing schemes of other Rajasthan government departments.

"India's tiger population has seen an alarming decrease with their habitats shrinking and several threats including poaching taking a toll on their survival," Ravi Singh noted.

"To create a healthy ecological balance we need to work towards building long term sustainable models for wildlife conservation such that our future generations can experience the joy and beauty of our varied flora and fauna," he added.

Nokia has a "robust" community involvement programme around its manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu's Sriperumbudur "that has contributed immensely in improving the socio-economic fabric of the region and its employees", a company statement said.
Source: IANS
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