A first of its kind Bird Festival is going to be organized here in Kashmir soon to promote sustainable ecotourism and give impetus to nature based alternative sources of livelihood to the local people.
This was disclosed in a meeting of officers held here chaired by Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Sarmad Hafeez.
The festival is tentatively being planned to be held in Pahalgam and Dachigam areas and besides the bird watching sessions, awareness camps and conservation drives during the festival it would have pre festival bird watching trails for more than a month all across J&K.
The festival would jointly be organized by the Tourism Department, Forests and Wildlife Departments with the support of Sanctuary Nature Foundation, a Mumbai based organization working for the preservation of birds and other wildlife.
Addressing the meeting, Sarmad Hafeez termed forests and wildlife important constituents of J&K’s tourism and asked all the concerned Departments to work for a synergized approach to preserve these while putting the same to the display of visitors.
The Tourism Secretary advised the constitution of Eco Clubs at schools and colleges at various tourist destinations to work in a coordinated manner for preserving the flora and fauna besides pristine beauty in these ecologically fragile zones.
Sarmad Hafeez also underscored the need for capacity building of the members of these Eco Clubs by the concerned Departments for raising conservation awareness among masses and for strengthening the conservation efforts.
The meeting was attended by Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Dr. G N Itoo, officers from Forests and Wildlife Departments and other representatives