Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Himachal park is now a World Heritage Site

Himachal park is now a World Heritage Site

SHARE  ·   COMMENT   ·   PRINT   ·   T+  
The Great Himalayan National Park is home to many rare flora and fauna.
The Great Himalayan National Park is home to many rare flora and fauna.

“What is noteworthy is that there will be no dislocation of families living in the core park area”

The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh was accorded the Unesco World Heritage Site status on Monday.
The Unesco World Heritage Site Committee at Doha in Qatar granted the status to the park under the criteria of “exceptional natural beauty and conservation of biological diversity.”
The GHNP has now come in the league of Indian World Heritage Sites (WHS) such as the Taj Mahal, Ellora, Kaziranga National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Manas National Park, Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve and the Sunderbans.

Boost for ecotourism

This would help in boosting ecotourism in the hill State, said Forest Minister Thakar Singh Bharmauri. What is noteworthy is that there would be no dislocation of villages or families living in the core park area and their rights had been recognised and would stay protected, he said.
The Forest Minister said the GHNP was declared a National Park under the Wildlife (Protection Act), 1972, by the Himachal Pradesh government in 1999. A total of 832 plant species, representing 128 families and 427 genera, which cover 26 per cent of the total flora of Himachal Pradesh, have been recorded in the GHNP.

It is also home to a number of threatened species, providing them with habitats critical to their survival. It supports self-sustaining populations of near-threatened, vulnerable and endangered species like leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Royle’s Vole, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan serow, Himalayan goral, Himalayan musk deer, western tragopan and cheer pheasant. The endangered snow leopard and the critically endangered Red-headed vulture are also present.

According to V.B. Mathur, director of the Wildlife Institute of India, the park has been inscribed under category 10 of the World Heritage Convention that covers areas that “contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.” The inscription comes as recognition to the efforts at conserving and managing the unique natural heritage of the country, said a communication from S.K. Khanduri, Inspector-General of Forests (Wildlife), Ministry of Environment and Forests.
(With additional reporting by K.S. Sudhi)
Sunshine Himalayan Adventures- Your Gateway to the Great Himalayan National Park 

Himachal park gets Unesco’s heritage tag

Shimla: After Gujarat’s Rani ki Vav (queen’s stepwell), the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (GHNPCA) in Himachal Pradesh, India’s richest biodiversity spot in the western Himalayas, Monday got the coveted UNESCO tag of a World Heritage site.
The World Heritage Committee, which met in Doha, Qatar, included GHNPCA in the World Heritage Natural Site List
The World Heritage Committee, which met in Doha, Qatar, included GHNPCA in the World Heritage Natural Site List
The World Heritage Committee, which met in Doha, Qatar, included GHNPCA in the World Heritage Natural Site List. It was India’s lone entry.
Earlier, the UNESCO added Rani ki Vav in Gujarat’s Patan town to the list of World Heritage sites.
“It’s a great honour. Now it’s an international site… will get global attention. The uniqueness of the park is that the rights of the locals have been protected,” state Principal Secretary (Forest) Tarun Sridhar said.
Besides the GHNPCA, India has six other natural sites in the Unesco World Heritage list, including the Sundarbans in West Bengal.
The state’s chief conservator of forests Sanjeeva Pandey, who was in Doha to represent the state’s claim for the heritage status, said this was indeed a significant moment in the conservation history of the western Himalayas.
“This was about nine years ago when the Friends of GHNPCA, an informal group of volunteers, started believing that the area should have global support to protect a part of the unique environment and biological diversity,” Pandey wrote on his Facebook page.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Unesco’s advisory panel on nature, last year deferred “the examination of the nomination of the GHNP to allow the state to finalise the addition of Tirthan and Sainj wildlife sanctuaries (adjoining the GHNP) to the nominated property to create a single area”.
The World Heritage Committee said the state “has to continue to resolve rights-based issues with respect to local communities and indigenous people in the site”.
Official sources said the legal process of inclusion of Sainj (90 sq km) and Tirthan (61 sq km) wildlife sanctuaries into the GHNP (754.4 sq km) involve resettlement of three villages from Sainj and providing monetary compensation to the right holders, specifically shepherds, in Tirthan sanctuary.
With the inclusion of both the wildlife sanctuaries in the GHNP, the total area, known as Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (GHNPCA), spreads over 905 sq km.
Formally declared a national park in 1999, the area stretches from 1,800 metres to 5,200 metres in altitude with a major part of the GHNPCA lying above 4,000 metres.
“GHNPCA harbours the most important gene pool of the Western Himalayan flora and fauna,” the Unesco said on its official website.
The GHNPCA, located in Kullu district and some 250 km from here, is home to several rare and threatened species, including the western tragopan, chir pheasant, snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer, Asiatic black bear, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep and serow.
Some 25 threatened IUCN Red-listed plant species are also recorded in the park.
Wildlife officials said the GHNP is one of the two national parks in the world that is home to the brilliantly plumaged western tragopan. The Machiara National Park in Pakistan also supports this species.
Another endangered pheasant, the cheer, is also found in the GHNPCA’s grassy slopes. Other pheasant species, the monal and the koklas, are in abundance in the temperate zone, while the kaleej occurs in small numbers below 2,000 m.
“I count 70 blue sheep… the largest group of mammals I have seen in my years of trekking in the park (GHNP)… It is a good sign that the park is providing a safe habitat for a species that once was hunted for its meat and fur coat,” US expert Payson R. Stevens and Sanjeeva Pandey wrote in an issue of Sanctuary Asia journal.
Since 2000, the two experts have trekked over 1,500 km in the park.

Sunshine Himalayan Adventures - Your gateway to the GHNP !