As part of the Wildlife Week celebrations, the Wildlife Protection Department organized a function, here today.Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar was the Chief Guest on the occasion.The Wildlife Week is being celebrated every year from October 2- 8 with a vision to conserve and preserve Wildlife Fauna.Commissioner/Secretary Forests, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Chairman State Pollution Control Board, Suresh Chugh, PCCF J&K Mohit Ghera, Director Social Forestry, Neelu Ghera, Director SFRI, O P Sharma, Chief Wildlife Warden, Suresh Gupta, MD JKSFC, Vasu Yadav, CCF Kashmir Farooq Geelani, CEO SMPB T, Rabi Kumar, senior officers of Forest and its allied wings attended the function.On the occasion, the Chief Wildlife Warden informed the gathering that in Jammu and Kashmir, there are 05 National Parks, 14 Sanctuaries & 32 Conservation Reserves including 14 Wetland Conservation Reserves besides 04 Ramsar sites. He said that the Wildlife Protected Area in the state is 16% which is quite higher as compared to National average of 4.5 %.Hangul Census and Asian Water Fowl census conducted this year have shown positive trends of conservations efforts of the department, he said adding that in Ladakh, 155 families have been provided materials for home stay encouraging eco-tourism.Highlighting about the activities that are part of the Wildlife Week this year, the Chief Wildlife Warden informed that the department has been organizing programmes for awareness and conservation of Wildlife throughout the state. The department is focusing on participation of students and locals so that their support in the endeavour of conservation and preservation of Wildlife is used in full potential.Chief Wildlife Warden also informed that the department has added 07 Rescue vehicles, 02 ambulances and 13 Motor Bikes to the rescue and conflict attending mechanism.
It was further informed that the department has appealed everyone to rededicate to save and conserve the richness of wildlife, attractively underscoring the value and worth of the living heritage of J&K, exploring the sheer biodiversity and density of the protected spaces of the state and replenish our natural eco-systems for our own existence.Addressing the gathering, Advisor Kumar commended the role played by the frontline staff and officers for the protection of Wildlife. ‘You all are doing good job and in future too have a great role to play in protecting the magnificent Wildlife of the State”, he said.The Advisor said that to make the forest life healthy, everyone’s efforts is required and the coordinated and integrated efforts can really make a difference. He appealed the NGO’s working for the protection of Wildlife and others to aware people, especially students about Wildlife/Ecology. We All should act as ambassadors of Wildlife protection, but before that we should develop our love towards nature, he added.He also highlighted some serious concerns which are disturbing our ecology and environment in the name of development and said that partnership among all is required for the conservation and protection.On the occasion, the Advisor also felicitated the officers including Regional Wildlife Warden Kashmir, Rashid Naqash and frontline staff on recognition of their services and asked for moving forward with the same positive approach. A documentary on “Protected Wetlands of Kashmir” was also screened during the programme.Chairman PCB Suresh Chugh and PCCF J&K Mohit Ghera also spoke on the occasion and congratulated the staff of Wildlife Protection Department and assured full support of all allied wings of Forest department for undertaking efforts as per the planned strategy.The speakers also laid stress on to make all protected areas polythene free so that the magnificent Wildlife can be saved from getting polluted from the danger of polythene.Earlier, the Advisor handed over the keys of newly procured 01 Ambulance, 01 Wildlife Rescue Van, 01 Multipurpose Vehicle and 04 Motor Bikes for the frontline staff. He also interacted with the members of ‘Wildlife SoS India’, an NGO working for the protection of Wildlife and appreciated their efforts undertaken in the field.