The Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated the Wildlife Week, 2021 to be observed from 2nd October to 8th October, today at SKICC.The Lt Governor also e-inaugurated the online permission for entry to Dachigam National Park, Hangul Eco-Stop near Parimahal, and released Hangul census report and brochures of Trekking Routes.While speaking on the occasion the Lt Governor said that observance of the Wildlife Week in J&K along with rest of the country is a sincere effort to create awareness among people for the protection of precious wildlife resources.“J&K’s wildlife has rich and rare assets in the form of its flora and fauna, biodiversity, and wildlife sanctuaries. Government is giving focused attention towards conservation and protection of invaluable natural resources”, he added.
The Lt Governor said that the government has opened Dachigam National Park for the public and to provide easy access, permission will be granted through an online portal operated by J&K Forest & Wildlife Department. We have also opened several trek routes to promote eco-tourism in Jammu Kashmir, he added.Wildlife plays an invaluable role in sustaining human and other forms of life.
The basic premise of our culture has been the co-existence of nature and human civilization, but unfortunately, the indiscriminate use of natural resources has gradually turned this coexistence into Man-Animal Conflict, the Lt Governor observed.We need a perfect balance between Digital River and Natural River in the fast-paced world. With dedication for the conservation of forests, wildlife, and the environment we can discharge our responsibility to handle man-animal conflict and climate change, said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor while recalling Mahatma Gandhi’s observation on the deteriorating wildlife ecosystem called for launching a mass movement with the help of public representatives to conserve our biodiversity.The spirit of wildlife preservation should become a part of our everyday life. There is an urgent need to protect our new generation from the threat posed by climate change, said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor congratulated the Forest and Wildlife Department for the new initiatives, new resolutions to preserve and protect the wildlife ecosystem. It is the result of the strenuous efforts of the stakeholders that today J&K’s total green cover is above 50%, he said.In order to conserve and protect the wildlife, the government has notified 11.5% of the total geographical area, which is much higher than national average of 5.5%, the Lt Governor added.The Lt Governor also inspected the stalls installed by the Department of wildlife protection. A video clip on wildlife of J&K and animated jingle on Human- wild Animal conflict was also screened on the occasion.
Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, while speaking on the occasion highlighted the significance of Wildlife and Bio-diversity of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. He called for community participation in wildlife conservation efforts to ensure that forest & wildlife areas are plastic free. He also advised to involve the schools in conservation efforts by constituting the Eco-clubs.Sh Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner/ Secretary to Government, Forest, Ecology & Environment Department, informed about various activities being undertaken by Department of Wildlife.
Dr. Mohit Gera, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & HoFF spoke about the importance of wildlife week and informed about the efforts being undertaken by the forests department to address the issue of human-wildlife conflict besides protection and conservation of wildlife habitats.Sh. Suresh Kr. Gupta, Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K in his welcome address gave historical perspective of wildlife conservation in Jammu & Kashmir, major achievements after the implementation of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, and various initiatives taken by the department for wildlife conservation & protection.Sh. Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Sh. Athar Aamir-ul-Shafi Khan, Commissioner, SMC besides senior officers of UT administration, members of Civil society were present on the occasion.