The Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, said that the Project Lion document titled “Lion @ 47: Vision for Amrutkal” has been prepared with the following objectives to secure & restore lions’ habitats for managing its growing population; scale up livelihood generation and participation of local communities; become a global hub of knowledge on big cat disease diagnostics and treatment and create inclusive biodiversity conservation through project lion initiative.
In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Choubey said that Project Lion envisages landscape ecology based conservation of the Asiatic Lion in Gujarat by integrating conservation and eco-development. The Project is being implemented in the Gir landscape in Gujarat which is the last home of the Asiatic lion.
The Minister said that Project Tiger is being implemented in tiger landscapes spread across the country in 53 tiger reserves. Both projects envisage activities which ensure overall conservation of the entire ecosystem inhabited by these flagship species.
The written reply said that Project Lion is being implemented by the State Government of Gujarat and other stakeholders like Central Zoo Authority. Financial assistance of Rs. 124.58lakhs have been provided to the State of Gujarat for conservation of wildlife including Asiatic Lions under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS)- ‘Development of Wildlife Habitats’ during the last three years.
Further, revalidation of Rs 1641.42 lakhs of grants released during 2018-19 under the Asiatic Lion Conservation project has also been done during the period. The State Government of Gujarat has submitted the Utilisation Certificate for the funds released as Central share under Asiatic Lion Conservation project.