Gandhinagar (Gujarat): Mentioning that India has a population of almost 2,970 at present, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the country would take a leading role in promoting green economy including conservation of mountain ecology with people's participation.

"India has the distinction of having a population of almost 2,970 tigers. India has achieved its target of doubling the number of targets two years before the committed date of 2022. India would be taking a leading role in promoting green economy including conservation of mountain ecology with people's participation," Modi said while addressing a convention on 'Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals' at Gandhinagar via video conference. Highlighting that India's forest cover has increased significantly, the Prime Minister said, "The present assessment also indicates that the total forest cover is 21.67 per cent of the total geographical area of the country. The number of protected areas has increased from 745 in 2014 to 870 in 2019 with an area coverage of nearly 1.7 lakh square km."

"The range of our initiatives includes an ambitious target of 450 megawatts in renewable energy, a push towards electric vehicles, smart cities, conservation of water and more," he said.

The Prime Minister continued that the international solar alliance, the coalition for disaster-resilient infrastructure and industries transition leadership have seen encouraging participation from countries worldwide.

Stressing on initiatives taken by India to set standards for the conservation of Asian elephants leopards and Asiatic lions, he said, "India is supporting more than 60% of the global Asian elephant population. 30 elephant reserves have been identified by our states."

"We have launched Project Snow Leopard, to protect the animal and its habitat in the Upper Himalayas. The Gir landscape in Gujarat is the only home for the Asiatic lion and the pride of the country. We have initiated an Asiatic Lion conservation project since Jan 2019 to protect them. Today, the population of Asiatic Lions stands at 523," he said.

The Prime Minister added that the Government of India has launched the National Conservation Strategy for the Indian one-horned rhinos, which are found in Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, in 2019.

The UN conference, which started today in Gandhinagar, will conclude on February 22.

The summit is said to bring together 1200 delegates from over 110 countries to deliberate on the alarming decline of migratory species.

Topics such as the impact of infrastructure development on the migratory patterns of animals will be discussed in the conference.

With ANI Inputs