The Union Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 30 December 2015 gave its approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for conservation of migratory birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia. The MoU, also called as Raptor MOU, will help India gain knowledge in effectively managing the habitats of the raptors.
With the signing of the MoU, India will become the 54th signatory to the MoU.
The MoU is also in conformity with the provisions of the existing Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, wherein the birds have been accorded protection.
It will also include concerted trans-boundary efforts for conservation through interaction with other range countries by signing of the MoU with the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS). Pakistan and Nepal are the other neighbours which are signatories to the MoU.
What is a Raptor MoU?
• The Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia is an international, legally non-binding, agreement to protect migratory birds of prey.
• It was concluded on 22 October 2008 and came into effect on 1 November 2008.
• It is an agreement under Article IV paragraph 4 of the CMS.
• It seeks willingness of the signatory Range States for working for conservation of the raptor species and their habitats.
• An action plan has been formulated which primarily envisages the conservation action for Raptor species.
• The MoU extends its coverage to 76 species of birds of prey out of which 46 species including vultures, falcons, eagles, owls, hawks, kites, harriers, and more which are also found in India.
• The CMS or Bonn Convention, under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), aims to conserve migratory species throughout their range.
• India has been a party to the CMS since 1 November 1983.
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Who: Raptor MoU
When: 30 December 2015