Conserve nature to sustain tourism: Mir

International Mountain Day

Publish Date: Dec 12 2012 12:00PM

Srinagar, Dec 11: Maintaining that nature has suffered badly in the last 20 years in Kashmir, minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir today stressed the need for conserving mountains, forests, glaciers, water bodies and wildlife for sustainable tourism in the state.
 “In Kashmir we have beautiful mountains and spiralling meadows that can be promoted for adventure tourism activities. But we need to create awareness among the masses about the importance of earth components that thrive our economy,” Mir said at the inaugural function of International Mountain Day organized by Jammu and Kashmir Ski and Mountaineering Association, here today. 
 “If mountains are promoted for ski and trekking activities, it will provide livelihood to the people living in their neighbourhood,” he said.
 Maintaining that Kashmir had great demand for foreign timber, the minister said the state government would consider reduction in import duties for it. “Reduction in import duty will further increase its demand that in turn would help safeguard our forests.”
 Mir stressed on the need of preserving green cover on the globe. He expressed his deep concern on cutting of trees during the turmoil in Kashmir valley.
 Talat Pervaiz, Director Tourism on the occasion said the tourism department would promote adventure tourism to attract high-end tourists.
 “Kashmir is famous for its beauty throughout the globe but we need to promote it as an adventure tourism destination. Most of the tourists come here to spend leisure time but tourism department is focusing on wooing visitors who would like to be part of adventure activities,” Pervaiz said.
 The function was organized by JK Ski and Mountaineering Association in collaboration with Tourism Department.
 Rauf Tramboo, General Secretary, JKSMA expressed his gratitude to the supporters of the event and participants to make it a “grand success.”
 “We are organizing hiking and trekking programs in Faqeer Gujree area which has tremendous potential for developing tourist village. We can offer 2 to 3 day trekking, skiing, rock-climbing and other allied adventure activities here,” Tramboo said.