To spread awareness among the younger people about the importance of wildlife and wetlands, the Department of Wildlife Protection J&K Government, Wetlands Tuesday said that they have organised a weeklong ‘Wildlife Week’ function.
Ifshan Dewan, wildlife warden, wetlands division Kashmir told Ground Report that this year's theme for the weeklong function is “Youth and Conservation”.
“This year we have a series of programmes where students and stakeholders will be enlightened about the importance of wildlife, biodiversity and wetlands”, Dewan said.
She said that they will hold awareness programmes and events across all the wetlands falling in their jurisdiction, saying that they will hold a series of events like paintings, debates etc.
Notably, as the winters are approaching the valley wetlands are going to witness the avian guests from different parts of the world.
While their safety and habitation have been challenging to the department over the past few years, the Jammu and Kashmir government in 2021 came up with an Integrated Management Action Plan (IMAP) for the conservation of wetlands in Kashmir with a proposed budgetary outlay of Rs 46.70 crore.
Meanwhile, a spokesman of the department said that Wildlife Wetlands Division Kashmir is organising the weeklong event in collaboration with the Department of School Education, Kashmir at the Camping Ground of Hokersar Wetland Conservation Reserve.
The spokesman said that the function was participated by Wildlife Mitras, Volunteers, Panchayat members of the villages around Hokersar Wetland Reserve, Different N.G.Os, Range Officers, Wildlife Protection Range Lakes (Hokersar), and various officers/officials of the department.
Different speakers during the function highlighted the role of the target groups in the conservation of Wildlife for future generations.
Ifshan Dewan, Wildlife Warden, Wetlands Division Kashmir, speaking on the occasion acquainted the students with the importance of Wildlife and laid stress on the participation of students at grassroots level for Wildlife Conservation.
At the end of the function Range Officer Lakes, Sajid Farooq appealed to all the stakeholders especially school-going students, youth and those who are directly or indirectly connected with Wetlands to join hands with the department for the protection and perpetuation of the existing Wetlands in the valley who are fast disappearing by the greed of the people.
Further, a Debate on the topic ‘Wildlife Conservation’, Signature campaign and Cleanliness Drive around Hokersar Wetland/Chatlum Wetland Conservation Reserve was also organized in which School children of Govt. Girls High School Zainakote, Girls HS Gund Hassi Bhat, Govt. Higher Secondary Daharmuna and Govt. High School-Wadwan and Govt. High School Pampore participated.
The ‘Wildlife Week’ celebration is scheduled to culminate on 8th October, 2023.
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