Zoo Outreach Organization &
Wildlife Information Liaison Development


IUCN SSC Conservation Planning Specialist Group, CPSG South Asia
A Regional Network of IUCN SSC CPSG established to catalyse, coordinate and facilitate the various national CPSG networks in South Asia.

Why CPSG South Asia ?
Reasons why it was important to establish a CPSG Network for South Asia are
The region of "South Asia" consists of the seven countries and covered by SAARC is a rational biogeographical unit with many, many species which are endemic to the region and need special attention. Afghanistan is linked to South Asia by culture, geography, biodiversity and having a zoo ! We include Afghanistan in "our" South Asia.
Many species of the Western Ghats share a range with Sri Lanka which historically formed part of the land area of the subcontinent.
A need for specialists from bordering countries who can give information about transmigration of species across political borders in PHVA and CAMP workshops for all countries.
All South Asian countries except Maldives have zoos, breeding centers, rescue centers which need advice and help to care for and possibly breed their animals better. India has legislation and a big establishment (Central Zoo Authority and the Indian Zoo Association) for their 180 zoos but other countries have a few zoos but for the most part lack zoo legislation, a professional association, or a systematic means of communication, cooperation and coordination with other zoos and the organised zoo community around the world. After several years of CPSG South Asia, there is now a regional association (see SAZARC), two more zoo associations (Bangladesh Zoo Association and Pakistan Zoo Association) and both of those countries are actively pursuing zoo legislation.
There was virtually no organised cooperation even among the countries in the region of South Asia but now there is

Objectives of CPSG, South Asia
To expand the scope of the Mission of the Conservation Planning Specialist Group by promoting its policies, philosophy, processes and products in South Asia.
To highlight the link between zoo and field based activities in conservation, e.g. to promote the scientific methods of holistic, intensive, interactive conservation management in South Asia.
To generate interest in CAMP, PHVA, Conservation Planning, Zoo Futures, Zoo Master Planning and Facilitator workshops and where desirable and appropriate conduct them with the help of CPSG, SSC.
To create a regional conservation identity by bringing together conservation specialists of the South Asian region.
To identify people and projects for information of the SSC taxon based specialist groups.
To "engineer" a Regional Zoo Directors Association for South Asia to represent the zoos of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Afghanistan in CPSG and World Zoo Organisation.
CPSG, South Asia, in collaboration with Central Zoo, KMTNC, and several zoos and species conservation organisations from USA, UK and Europe, organized the first conference of zoos of South Asia, preceded by a two day regional South Asian CPSG meeting and a 7 day zoo education workshop. It was held in the first week of August 2000. From that time CPSG, SA has had regular meetings.  To view 2009 annual meeting report
South Asian zoo personnel decided to form a regional zoo association so that they could communicate, cooperate and collaborate on zoo issues. It was the first time the zoo personnel of South Asia had ever met. The CPSG, South Asia meeting was the culmination of a 9 year dream to create an association of zoos, wildlife agency personnel, academics and other individuals who could contribute to conservation action.
CPSG South Asia was formed in 1999. At that time CPSG, India, which was formed in 1991 which provided a model for all the CPSG networks the world over, had been in existence for 8 years.
To know about SAZARC and its conference
CPSG, India and CPSG, South Asia have conducted many CAMP and PHVA workshops.  To see the list and the reports
To download the application forms for joining CPSG, South Asia
shorter version      detailed version

What CPSG SSC IUCN says about it regional networks:
We have a few simple principles which guide the organization and function of country or region based CPSG Networks. The first is the commitment of an individual to take responsibility for organization of the Network and guiding its activities. The second is that CPSG Networks are made up of people who volunteer to participate in the CPSG projects and program, regardless of their other organizational affiliations. Thus all CPSG projects are open and intended to provide a neutral forum for people to share their interests and expertise to assist conservation in their country and region. The third is that a newsletter is produced and distributed to all Network members and other interested parties as a means of providing shared communication. The fourth is to serve as an organizer of CPSG workshops, such as CAMPs and PHVAs, to assist bringing people together to find common ground on difficult conservation problems and to develop conservation action and management programs which can be implemented through the commitments of people participating in the workshops. The fifth important guideline is that all CPSG workshop results and recommendations are the product of the participants' work and are advisory to the responsible official authorities. We work with the official wildlife authorities at their invitation in all such programs. We are an advisory and support organization - not a confrontational advocacy organization. Our strength, and that of all our regional and national Networks, lies in our credibility and recognition as a science-based advisory group with skills in assisting diverse groups in finding a common ground for conservation problem solving.

CPSG's Statement of Vitality
"CPSG cares about saving endangered species and habitat. It bases its mission and activities on the development and implementation of scientifically sound processes. CPSG takes a leadership position in the conservation community based on cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and inter-sector partnerships. CPSG champions openness, inclusiveness, morality, ethics and risk-taking. It constantly evolves in response to the needs of all those concerned with conserving the planet's biodiversity. It depends on the warmth, support, acceptance and vitality of its extended community."

CPSG is a catalyst and coordinator for intensive management of threatened small populations. CPSG has more than 800 members from 70 nations around the world and serves as a neutral but dynamic stimulus as well as coordinating agency for individuals and organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, which work with wildlife in any capacity. CPSG National and Regional Networks are catalysts and coordinators at the national or regional level.

CPSG Networks are modeled on the unique organizational ideals of CPSG and are committed to its scientific and technical standards. These Networks take CPSG tools and principles deep into the grass roots conservation scenario of a region or country allowing stakeholders in that region or country to then work with the basic conservation tools and techniques and adapt them to their own needs and requirements, thus strengthening their expertise and establishing their regional conservation identity.

The first CPSG Network was convened in India in 1991. A few years later, CPSG Indonesia was formed on the same model but with appropriate modifications for the conservation culture of that country. Since then CPSG Networks have been established in Mesoamerica, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Japan and South Africa.

The key to the effectiveness of CPSG Networks is the flexibility, wisdom and affirmative attitude of CPSG. This flexibility even extends to CPSG's logo featuring a vignette of the world's endangered species, which it has permitted every Network to re-draw with its own threatened animals in a similar but individual configuration. This level of freedom to shape the Network and its symbols according to the requirements of the culture, society and services of the individual country is a requirement for success.

Regional or National Networks of CPSG are not just desirable but necessary due to the sheer magnitude of the problem of biodiversity loss on this planet, as well as the diversity in environment, social and economic conditions, policy and philosophy extant in different countries and regions. Each Network can adapt and extend the CPSG workshop processes, models and modus operandi to suit individual conditions. This has the additional advantage of acting as a mechanism for creativity as well as evolution of new methodologies and processes.