The corporate sector is always criticized for thinking more on the economic growth than the ecological safety. In order to provide the corporate sector of India with a concrete body that helps them in working for the protection of endangered species like the tiger, the World Bank and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has teamed up to create the world’s first Wildlife Business Council.

Signing an MoU in this regard with Confederation of Indian Industry’s Deputy Director General Indrani Kar, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the India Wildlife Business Council would lead the efforts to save tiger from becoming extinct.

“At last there is some glimmer of hope for the tiger in the biodiversity that it represents… The new Indian Wildlife Business Council is leading the way. I can’t think of a better country to begin with.
It has the potential to completely change the dynamics in the relationship between Industry and conservation,” Zoellick said.

“We are already down to the barest number, a few mistakes here and there and this important species is gone,” Zoellick said and hailed the initiative of India’s private sector.

Indrani says that the council will help promote green growth models.

She said, “We will work with industry through the India Wildlife Business Council 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.”

Zoellick believes that the move will also help in bringing more innovative ideas and resources that will aid conservation. HE hoped that the council would help India and other tiger nations achieve the goal of doubling the number of tigers in the world by 2022.

“Given our tracts of forestland, we have a critical role to play in conservation and it is only through partnerships, collective action and effective engagement that we will be able to make an impact. This MoU is a testimony of our commitment towards this cause,” Kar said.

What the India Wildlife Business Council will do

The objective of the IWBC is to promote tiger and biodiversity conservation in the context of sustainable development and to improve the dialogue between business, conservation stakeholders as well as decision- makers.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC) – which comprise the “World Bank Group” – and CII will work together to create and support the IWBC, which will serve as an institutionalised platform for collaboration.”

The council is a smart and a good move considering the way India’s forest cover is being rapidly replaced with factories and industries. But what might sound good on papers, may not achieve results until all industries truly support and execute the sustainable solutions offered. In a country where mafia and political pressures mute many a good ideas, it will be a challenge for the council to convince big and small industries about the economically viable solutions they are offering.

Hopefully the Wildlife Business Council will provide the push industries need to work in tandem with nature.

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Image via cc/Flickr by kumaravel

About Atula Gupta

Atula Gupta is the Founder and Editor of Her work has appeared in a number of international websites, dailies and magazines including The Wire, Deccan Herald, New Indian Express, Down to Earth and Heritage India on issues related to environment and its conservation. She is also the author of Environment Science Essentials, a set of books for school children. She hopes this website provides a platform for people to be aware about species in the verge of extinction and heighten their conservation efforts.

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