UNDP, Dana Insurance to protect Asiatic cheetah

News ID: 2853158 -
TEHRAN, Jul. 06 (MNA) – UN Development Program and Dana Insurance Co. have signed agreement to jointly protect Asiatic cheetah.

“We have gathered here to sign an agreement with Dana Insurance Company and mark yet another milestone in our struggle to save the Asiatic cheetah” said Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.

Mr. Lewis was speaking at an event to formalize an agreement between Dana Insurance Company and the UN Development Program to support the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP) which is implemented with the Department of the Environment. This ceremony took place today at the United Nations Common Premises.

The agreement between UNDP and Dana Insurance Co. will activate a form of insurance coverage provided by Dana which will mitigate threats to cheetahs by providing much-needed funding for the implementation of critical aspects of the project’s work plan.

Specifically, Dana Insurance will provide up to $15,000 to the project each time a cheetah is killed in road accidents or by herder dogs. The money thus realized will go into the project and be used to reduce the threats which killed the cheetahs in the first place. It will be awarded for a maximum of 5 cheetah kills per year.

“The partnership between Dana Insurance Company and the CACP is an excellent example of the positive results that can be achieved when the public and private sectors join forces in pursuit of a common goal,” said Mr. Lewis. “Such cooperation underlines the essence of partnership-building which is required for future sustainable development.”

Iran is the last habitat of the precious Asiatic cheetah. Even up to half a century ago, the species was widespread across the Indian subcontinent and Central and Southwest Asia. However, during the past several decades, due to pressures of modernization, encroaching roads, human settlements and livestock, along with illegal shooting by poachers, the number of Asiatic cheetahs in Iran had fallen to dangerously low levels.

Recognizing the problem, back in 2001, Iran’s Department of Environment, UNDP and a number of committed national and international partners joined forces to save these emblematic cats through the CACP. Over the past decade and a half, the project has contributed to reversing the process of extinction for this iconic cat species in Iran, through a number of interventions including local community partnership, supporting the game guards, strengthening of Iran’s protected areas and research.

 

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