New Delhi : DCB Bank and World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-India have announced a partnership to conserve the endangered Indus River Dolphin in the Beas Conservation Reserve. Working closely with the Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation, Government of Punjab, the organizations will implement initiatives around education, awareness and community led conservation to protect the species and its habitat and ensure conservation measures for its long term survival.
The partnership between DCB Bank and WWF-India aims to strengthen multi-stakeholder leadership and community-led dolphin conservation. Local institutions will spearhead the conservation efforts for the species and work with farmers living in villages on the banks of the river to reduce input use (water, chemical fertilizers and pesticides) in their farms. As part of the partnership, WWF-India will also implement its Water School Programme which aims to build awareness among students on the need for conservation of natural resources across 30 schools in four districts along the Beas Conservation Reserve.
Dolphins are an indicator species of healthy river systems. India is one of the few countries in the world that has two fresh water dolphin species- the Gangetic River Dolphin and the Indus River Dolphin, sub-species of South Asian River Dolphin. Indus River Dolphins arefound in the Indus River system and the River Beas is their only habitat in the country. The river dolphin is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).