‘Leh, Kargil poorly studied in terms of biodiversity, impacts of climate change on wetlands’

WWF Report Says Region Threatened By Unsustainable Tourism, Overgrazing, Resource Extraction

IMRAN MUZAFFAR

Srinagar, Nov 19: A report by the World Wildlife Fund (India Network) has revealed that Leh and Kargil regions of Jammu and Kashmir were poorly studied in terms of biodiversity and potential impacts of climate change on the wetlands and local population in the area.
 The report from the international organization says that wetlands in the region are threatened by unsustainable tourism, overgrazing, unsustainable resource extraction and increase in infrastructure. “WWF-India works with communities in this region to conserve the wetlands that are threatened by unsustainable tourism, overgrazing, unsustainable resource extraction and infrastructure impacts.  This is done through a combination of research, participatory assessments, community based tourism and advocacy,” the report reads.
 The WWF-India’s Jammu & Kashmir State Office—a Resource Agency—is working in the region under the National Environment Awareness Campaign Programme of the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. “In 2011, more than 550 educational institutions were engaged in Education for Sustainable Development activities aimed to promote biodiversity conservation in the state,” it reads. “Over 100 colleges and schools established botanical gardens in their campuses, along with 400 vermi-composting pits for waste management. WWF-India expanded its reach to schools in 10 more districts of Jammu & Kashmir, and ensured the ESD is included in the mainstream education framework.”
 The report states that Ladakh, northern most region of Jammu and Kashmir, has a number of high altitude wetlands that support a unique collection of flora and fauna, and are of critical importance to local populace. “But this region, especially the Kargil district, is poorly studied in terms of its biodiversity and potential impacts of climate change on the wetlands and local population in the area,” it states.
 “In 2011, WWF-India initiated a project to develop present and future land cover maps of high altitude wetlands in Ladakh which have high dependence from local population. These maps will help create integrated resource wetland-wildlife management plans that will meet the interest of local population and wildlife conservation,” the report states.
 Ladakh, the report reads, is a breeding ground of the black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis)—“a vulnerable species—also found in China and Bhutan.”
 “To bring the three range countries on one platform, a regional workshop ‘Cranes Calling’ was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Bombay Natural History Society and Indian Bird Conservation Network. The key objectives of the workshop were to facilitate knowledge-sharing and information exchange among conservation experts from India, China and Bhutan and to explore the opportunities of community exchange programmes between these countries,” the report reads.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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