SUBJECT :Biodiversity 
India and Russia are actively working together for protection of rare wildlife species, including tigers and leopards, and a working group, formed consequent of the bilateral cooperation signed over 10 years ago, will soon hold its next meeting in this regard.

Russian environment minister Sergei Donskoi, who is currently on a visit to India said this on Friday.

He said that saving rare wildlife was one of the areas of co-operation between the two countries.

"As for the Russia-India co-operation in green projects, one of them addresses the saving of all rare animals...the aim was to save rare wildlife which survived and was in need of protection, including tigers and leopards," he said.

The agreement on the project was signed between the two countries in 1994.

"A working group on this issue met in 2013 and now they are meeting again...So we are actively working in this direction," he said.

The Russian minister also said that the two countries would seek further areas of co-operation, including water resources treatment, environment security and decrease of dangerous emissions during the BRIC summit, slated to be held later this year in Moscow.

The Russian government also welcome the Centre's 'Swach Bharat Mission' and Russia also had started a similar campaign for the Arctic region few years ago.

"We welcome any attempt of governments all over the world which aim that resolution...tackling of the environmental problems, because the past environmental damage...the scale of this damage is so big, so enormous, the sooner we start working on this project actively, the better chances we have, so we fully welcome this ('Swach Bharat Mission')," the minister said.

President Putin had also started a similar campaign in 2011 about saving the fragile Arctic region.

"The security of environment and elimination of past damage, and one of such campaigns is clean Arctic, so it is a programme dedicated to safety of the Arctic region, where we have enormous, large-scale affect," he said.

Source: 6 February, 2015, The Economics Times