West Bengal chief minister Mamta Banerjee and Bangladesh will join hands for protection of tigers in Sunderbans.
The central government had put Teesta river treaty and land boundary agreement on hold after opposition from Mamata, a key ally of the UPA government.
But, the centre was able to have the West Bengal government on board with respect to having a joint monitoring and protection mechanism for Sunderban tigers. There are about 400 tigers in Sunderbans spread across West Bengal and Bangladesh but lack of coordination between the two governments has hampered conservation efforts.
"Both countries will undertake bilateral scientific and research projects to promote their understanding and knowledge of Royal Bengal Tigers in Sunderbans," said an agreement signed between India and Bangladesh government for tiger conservation recently.
The agreement also provides for collaboration in training and promotion of education in tiger conservation without undertaking any activity which can dampen the unique bio-diversity of mangrove rich Sunderbans. However, the agreement will not impose any restriction on border domination activities.
As per the agreement, there will be a special committee on either side of the border to look into the issue of human casualties because of tiger attacks and monitoring of tiger population. These committees from both sides of the border will meet regularly to share experiences and implement similar projects, government officials said.
The Indian government will also reserve four seats for Bangladesh forest officials in the nine month diploma course at the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India to strengthen conservation measures in Bangladesh.
India has taken a global lead in tiger protection by providing training to forest department officials from 13 tiger range countries and sharing its success from tiger reserves in India. Bangladesh is the latest beneficiary of India's rich experience in tiger conservation.