UNESCO assured to provide funds and technical assistance to protect rare wildlife in the region
The exercise to establish a much-anticipated biosphere reserve in the Thar Desert in western Rajasthan has intensified with the support of UNESCO, which has provided funding and technical assistance for protect the region’s rare wildlife. The project could soon be included in UNESCO’s flagship program on Man and the Biosphere (MAB).
Climate variability in the Thar Desert is based on the expanses of sand, which are interspersed with mounds and plains of sand and gravel. Environmentalists believe that the vegetation, human culture, and animal life of this arid region are very diverse compared to other deserts around the world due to its varied habitat and ecosystem.
The biosphere reserve project formulated by the State Government’s Forestry Department has emphasized the conservation of biodiversity and desert ecology as well as the participation of local communities in conservation efforts. In addition to protecting unique natural features, people’s livelihoods will be enhanced in the reserve.
Principal Secretary of Forestry and Environment Sreya Guha said here that the project, based on the vision of protecting natural resources as well as local communities, would not place any restrictions on people’s daily lives.
. The exercise has continued since 1988, when a working group was appointed to prepare the project document.
The latest proposal was prepared in association with the Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), Jodhpur, covering aspects of flora and fauna conservation and desert ecosystem preservation.
UNESCO Country Head Eric Falt, who was visiting Jaipur recently, said the biosphere project could be included in the UN’s MAB program, which seeks to improve relations between people and their families. environment. The program strengthens the correlation between the natural ecosystem and socio-economic processes in the context of biological and cultural diversity.
Rajasthan’s Chief Wildlife Custodian Arindam Tomar said the biosphere reserve will require the allocation of adequate resources for the protection of biodiversity, ecosystem and land features. Efforts are being made to protect the endangered species of Indian great bustards, desert cats, chinkaras, vultures and other birds, he said.
Tourism and Wildlife Society of India Honorary Secretary Harsh Vardhan said the biosphere reserve would serve its purpose if grasslands over large areas were developed for grazing animals as their neglect and conversion to irrigated land and cultivated would further endanger rare species. This aspect has been overlooked even in the Desert National Park established near Jaisalmer and Barmer, he said.
Amid the changing ecology, several species of migratory birds began to arrive in western Rajasthan earlier than the winter season this year. Water bodies in the region have witnessed the arrival of birds in small groups from Central Asia, which is an indication of significant human-induced microclimate changes.