manas impresses iucn

Guwahati, Jan. 30: The Unesco-IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) monitoring mission which ended its on-the-spot assessment of Manas National Park yesterday, seems to have been “impressed” with the progress made by the park.
“There has been a vast and visible improvement made by the park in respect to wildlife,” Ram Boojh from Unesco-India, who is a member of the monitoring mission, told The Telegraph today.
The team reached Manas on January 25, visited the park and held consultations with a wide cross-section of people and authorities. They did some rafting, too. The other two members were Sue Mainka and Remco van Merm from IUCN. “We saw rhinos, golden langur, and a number of birds,” Boojh said.
The World Heritage Committee had said, “The presence of viable populations of all major species and a clear upward trend of these populations are the key elements of the desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.”
The team held discussions with the state forest department here and will be holding meetings with the ministry of environment and forests in Delhi before sitting down to finalise the report. The team left for Delhi today. Before leaving, the team visited the Pygmy Hog Conservation Centre at Basistha in the city and appreciated the efforts.
The report of the monitoring team will be submitted to the World Heritage Committee in March so that it could be considered for the 35th committee meeting to be held at Manama in Bahrain this year. The meeting is scheduled to be held between June 19 and 29.
Sources said a number of other issues, such as encroachment, regular funding and extension of the area, would have to be taken into consideration before the removal of the danger tag could be considered. “A good start has been made but it will take some time,” a source in the park said.
Representatives from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), the BTC, Aaranyak, and WWF were present during the discussions with the monitoring team. Officials from the Royal Manas National Park Bhutan, a contiguous area , were also present.
The World Heritage Committee has asked India to work with the Royal Government of Bhutan to have Royal Manas National Park Bhutan inscribed on the world heritage list as a trans-boundary property.
A park official said, “Recent direct sightings and camera-trap methods are indications of the presence of tiger in the site. The estimate is undertaken in collaboration with WII and other NGOs providing technical support. According to the preliminary results, the photographs of all major carnivores and prey species were found..”


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