JK witnessed destruction of environmentally fragile areas, says Tassaduq Mufti at UN Environment meet

Stresses on eco-sustainable livelihood opportunities

Maharashtra, Feb 25 (KNS): The Minister for Tourism and Culture Tassaduq Hussain Mufti participated in UN Environment-Sanctuary Nature Foundation meet in Maharashtra.

The meet held in Tadoba wildlife Tiger Sanctuary from February 20th to 22nd February 2018 was aimed to understand and explore ways of fashioning tourism into a livelihood generator.

Mufti said that over the past decades, Jammu and Kashmir State has witnessed the destruction of its environmentally fragile areas, lakes, rivers and meadows to its booming tourism industry.

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He said that most of these areas have become concrete jungles without proper sewerage and waste management setup.

Tourism Minister also said that J&K Government needs to take immediate steps in turning its exquisite forests, rivers, mountains, wetlands and lakes of the state to the advantage of local communities, and to the advantage of the incredible biodiversity of the state through best practices in tourism.

The Minister said that Jammu and Kashmir has immense potential for sustainable tourism with eco-sustainable livelihood opportunities for local communities in a manner that preserves the health, scenic and natural attributes of the tourism sites with the involvement of local communities as its integral part.

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Mufti also visited Gothangaon in Maharashtra next to the Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary to understand the Community Owned Community Operated Conservancy (COCOON Conservancy).

The Minister said that the initiative holds out hope for replicable community sustainability, biodiversity enhancement and climate action which are essential elements for creating a model of accountable and sustainable eco-tourism in the state of Jammu and Kashmir which won’t expropriate land, water and natural resources.

The meet was born of a sense of wonder for India’s natural heritage, and the drive to affect positive change and envisioned a world with abundant biodiversity, a sustainable climate and an equitable future for one and all through policy changes, advocacy, science, on-ground support and habitat management.

Legendary conservationist and founder of Sanctuary Asia, India’s leading nature and conservation portal Bittu Sehgal and Global Head of the United Nations Environment and an eminent Environmental Champion Eric Solheim also participated in the meet.

Besides, Additional Chief Secretary Government of Maharashtra Praveen Pardesi, Director, Tourism Kashmir Mehmood shah, Regional Wildlife warden, Kashmir Rashid Y. Naqash and Representative from Wildlife institute of India Bilal Habib were also present in the meeting.



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