WWF-India Joins Hands with Tata Housing to Create Crowd-Funding Campaign
Monday, January 13, 2014
New Delhi: In a significant step towards garnering more support and awareness for snow leopard conservation in India, WWF-India, in partnership with Tata Housing Development Company, launched Project Save Our Snow Leopards (SOS) by unveiling the SOS online crowd-funding platform (www.wwfindia.org/sos) at an event at the WWF-India auditorium on January 10, 2014.
The SOS crowd-funding campaign is the first-ever crowd-funded campaign for species conservation in India, giving individuals a chance to support and directly fund conservation projects. Through the SOS campaign, WWF-India, along with Tata Housing, will build awareness about the conservation issues facing the snow leopard and will aim to raise at least Rs15,00,000 through the crowd-funding platform. The funds raised will be utilised to scale up WWF’s snow leopard conservation projects, like setting up camera traps to study the exact status and distribution of snow leopards in range states, and support the construction of predator-proof livestock pens for local communities in snow leopard habitats that will help in managing snow leopard-human conflict. The campaign will be spearheaded jointly by both organisations and reach out to potential supporters through social and other online media. Tata Housing will also reach out to the Tata group of companies, soliciting support for the SOS campaign through ‘Green Guardians’, an employee engagement initiative.
Tata Housing Development Company, the biggest proponent of green housing in India, became a WWF-India conservation partner in 2012. Tata Housing has also worked with WWF-India to refine their Sustainability Charter, which outlines their commitment towards following environmental sustainability practices in housing development. WWF-India and Tata Housing will also work together to convene forums to promote sustainable housing across the housing infrastructure sector and exchange best practices relating to sustainable housing.
On the occasion, Brotin Banerjee, CEO and managing director, Tata Housing Development Company, said, ‘At Tata Housing, we feel it is important to maintain the ecological balance of natural flora and fauna in the environment, along with creating sustainable green development that help to prevent environmental degradation. Our partnership with WWF-India is in line with our efforts to safeguard and conserve India’s unique natural heritage of high-altitude wildlife populations and their habitats. We hope our efforts to save the snow leopard will result in maintaining the required ecological balance.’
Speaking on the necessity of such steps in snow leopard conservation, Ravi Singh, secretary general and CEO, WWF-India, said, ‘Snow leopards are strikingly beautiful, but sadly very few people are even aware of their existence. Due to the high altitude and difficult terrain they inhabit, snow leopards are also one of the least studied large wild cats, which in turn makes their conservation all the more difficult. By protecting the snow leopard, we ensure the conservation of our fragile mountain landscapes that are one of the biggest sources of freshwater for the Indian subcontinent. We hope this campaign will not only raise the required funds for the snow leopard, but also make people more aware about this magnificent species.’
Through Project SOS, both WWF-India and Tata Housing will continue to work with the central and respective state governments to assess the status and distribution of snow leopards and strategise conservation actions. Local communities will also be engaged to increase awareness about wildlife conservation, and build a positive attitude towards the snow leopard by sharing the results of such conservation efforts.
Sources by : Tata Group