New Delhi, December 25, 2023.

The Central Zoo Authority successfully conducted the 2nd National Level Stakeholder Workshop on December 22, 2023 in New Delhi. The workshop, chaired by the Union Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC),Shri Ashwini Chaubey and assisted by Secretary MoEf&CC Ms.Leena Nandan,Secretary MoFAHd Ms.Alka Upadhyay, DGF&SS MoEf&CC Shri C.P.Goyal, ADG Wildlife Shri Bivas Ranjan aimed at advancing the Development of the National Referral Centre for Wildlife (NRC-W) and fostering collaboration for One Health initiatives.

The event witnessed the convergence of experts from diverse organizations of human health,livestock health,wildlife research Institutes,National Park managers,zoo directors etc..  Institutions like CCMB, ICAR-NIVEDI, WII, NTCA, IVRI marked their presence.

The workshop served as a platform for insightful discussions and a consultative approach towards the development of the National Referral Centre for Wildlife. Member Secretary, CZA Shri Sanjay Shukla and DIGF, CZA Ms.Akanksha Mahajan extended a warm welcome, setting the stage for collaborative deliberations on critical aspects of wildlife health management.

Shri Ashwini Kumar Chaubey highlighted  the “unique position of India with regard to rich wildlife and biodiversity and the unique position of our country as the number one in the elephant range and the exclusive home to the Asiatic lion emphasized upon the importance of a holistic approach towards wildlife health and disease management.” He also mentioned that the ministry will always be supporting such initiatives likewise the support demonstrated for the One Health mission by actively endorsing science and technology initiatives under the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). He underscored the need for integrated surveillance covering humans, livestock, and wildlife. Drawing parallels with the COVID-19 pandemic, he commended Prime Minister Modi’s adept handling of the emergency through a comprehensive and integrated strategy. The example served as a reminder of the efficacy of a united approach in mitigating the impact of crises, both in the realm of public health and wildlife conservation.

Further, engaging sessions covered themes such as the Development of NRC-W, Disease Surveillance Needs in the Wildlife Sector, linkages with Human and Livestock Programs, R&D Needs for the Wildlife Sector, and the Need for an Effective Capacity Building Framework.

Stakeholders acknowledged the importance of the One Health concept for a comprehensive and controlled health ecosystem in India and the world. The workshop concluded with enriching discussions and collaborative strategies among stakeholders, aiming to fortify the development of the NRC-W. Stakeholders deliberated on innovative frameworks, technological interventions, and resource mobilization crucial for the NRC-W’s effective establishment.