The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the World Bank Group have agreed to establish the India Wildlife Business Council (IWBC) to promote tiger and biodiversity conservation for sustainable development.
A memorandum of understanding to set up the IWBC to improve the dialogue between business, conservation stakeholders as well as decision makers was signed here Tuesday by CII Deputy Director General Indrani Kar and World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) - which comprise the World Bank Group - and CII will jointly create and support the IWBC, an institutionalised platform for collaboration.
Tiger population has dwindled massively due to rapid industrialisation, habitat fragmentation, poaching and illegal trade, according to a CII statement.
Barely 3,000 tigers remain in the wild today, confined to only seven percent of their historical geographic presence.
Beyond the tiger`s iconic value as India`s national animal, the conservation and protection of their habitat is important for maintaining biodiversity, which is the natural capital that has helped drive economic growth and prosperity in India, it added.
Conservation and sustainable development will also have a profound ripple effect on India`s poverty alleviation, watershed protection, natural hazard regulation, food security and agricultural services, medicinal and recreation and tourism, the statement said.
CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said the industry association will work through the IWBC to promote green growth models, aligning business strategies focusing on a triple bottom line approach - on profits, people and planet.
"Industry will thus play a major role in integrating biodiversity with the development agenda," he said.
Zoellick said that bringing private sector into this effort would infuse new ideas and new resources, changing the dynamic between industry and conservation and serving as a powerful instrument of change.
He hoped to achieve the target of doubling tiger population worldwide by 2022 through new business and policy models, such as smart green infrastructure that gives priority to tiger habitats.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)