Forest guards and field staff supporting WWF-India’s conservation endeavors across states protect the country’s natural heritage.
It is to boost their morale and fortify monitoring and vigilance efforts across conservation projects in the country that WWF-India and Ricoh India signed the ‘Project Nature Watch’ partnership on the occasion of Earth Day 2016. The project aims at providing need-based infrastructure support to frontline and field staff working in the forest and marine areas respectively, for monitoring species such as the red panda, snow leopard, tiger, elephant, rhino, olive Ridley turtle and other threatened fish diversity, coral reefs, cetaceans and marine mammals.
Under this collaboration, around 200 high-end Pentax binoculars will be handed over to the frontline staff of forest departments of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Sikkim and West Bengal to support wildlife monitoring and patrolling activities. These binoculars will not only help improve vigilance capacity of the staff but also keep them motivated and interested in wildlife.
The water-proof cameras will also be extensively used by the WWF-India team working in marine habitats across five coastal states of Gujarat, Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and the Lakshadweep Island. The cameras will go a long way in helping monitor marine biodiversity in these locations and assessing the distribution, population status, health and behavior of several priority species. All the equipment will be manufactured by Ricoh Imaging Corp (Japan).
Speaking about the partnership, Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, -India, said, “Frontline staff in forests are the protectors of our natural habitats, responsible for safeguarding wildlife populations. In coastal areas, our field staff ensure safety of several marine species. We thank Ricoh India for their contribution by way of field equipment which will be provided to some frontline units, thereby enhancing their capacity and morale. Such joint collaborations are contributory to conservation measures in the country.”
Speaking about the project, Mr. A. T. Rajan, MD and CEO, Ricoh-India, said, “Ricoh strives to realize a sustainable ecosystem by not only reducing environmental impact in its operations and product usage, but also by maintaining and improving Earth’s self-recovery capabilities and biodiversity. ‘Project Nature Watch’ in association with WWF-India is our endeavour to strengthen technology enabled conservation initiatives for forestry and marine ecosystem. We are hopeful this collaboration will lead towards prosperous biodiversity of our nation and natural capital for Earth at large.”