Home Dehradun MoU with Slovenia on environmental issues will boost tourism: Dhami

MoU with Slovenia on environmental issues will boost tourism: Dhami

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By Our Staff Reporter

Dehradun, 17 Feb: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami today praised an agreement signed between Uttarakhand and the Slovenian government regarding mutual cooperation on management of protected forest areas, resource management and environmental education as a significant step forward towards greater cooperation between the two nations.

It may be recalled that an agreement has been signed between Valley of Flowers National Park of Uttarakhand and Triglav National Park of Slovenia in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana. The CM described this MoU as an effort to give recognition to the state’s biodiversity at the global level. He noted that both the national parks have been declared World Natural Heritage sites by UNESCO. This will definitely give new recognition to Uttarakhand’s contribution to forest and protected area management at the global level, and more tourists will be attracted to the beauty of the Valley of Flowers.

It may be recalled that the MoU was signed by Dr Samir Sinha, Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttarakhand, and Dr Titus Potocnik, Director of Triglav National Park, Ljubljana, in the presence of Namrata Kumar, Ambassador of India to Slovenia.

According to this MoU, both the national parks will be given the status of sister parks. In this MoU, cooperation between the two national parks will provide an opportunity to share management experiences among each other, disseminate information and present the best practices of Slovenia and Uttarakhand in forest management at the global level.

It may also be pertinent to point out here that, both, Valley of Flowers National Park of Uttarakhand and Triglav National Park of Slovenia have been declared as World Natural Heritage sites by UNESCO.

Valley of Flowers National Park was established in 1982 and its area is 87.5 square kms, while Triglav National Park is the only national park in Slovenia, which was established in 1981 and has an area of 880 square kms. Triglav Peak is the highest peak in Slovenia with a height of 2863.65 metres. Just as Valley of Flowers National Park is situated in the Uttarakhand Himalayan region, similarly this national park is also situated amidst the Julian Alps mountains. The conditions, opportunities and challenges here are in many ways similar to those of the Valley of Flowers National Park.

It is especially noteworthy that this is the first time when not only Uttarakhand but any protected area of India has made such an agreement for cooperation with any protected area of a foreign country. The forest department has credited Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Forest Minister Subodh Uniyal for giving shape to this MoU.

With the signing of this MoU, Uttarakhand will get new recognition at the global level for its contribution in forest and protected area management, along with the promotion of forest management efforts through public participation. The contribution of the local communities will also be recognised at the international level. This will provide an opportunity to share information about latest techniques in forest and protected area management which will help in facing challenges like man-wildlife conflicts, forest fires, climate change in the UNESCO World Heritage declared areas like Valley of Flowers in the high Himalayan regions. There will be publicity about this in Europe also and higher number of foreign tourists will be inspired to come here.

Ambassador of India to Slovenia, Namrata Kumar, and Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttarakhand, Dr Samir Sinha, had met members of the National Assembly of Slovenia, mayors of various cities under Triglav National Park, Slovenia. They also had a meeting with several experts, including the Director of the Institute of Investment and International Cooperation, where Sinha shared detailed information about forest and wildlife management in Uttarakhand, especially the role of communities, opportunities for mountaineering, tourism, etc. Everyone concerned showed keen interest in cooperating with Uttarakhand in view of the similarities between the mountainous regions of Uttarakhand and Slovenia. In the coming time, this will be taken further with the cooperation of the Embassy of India in Slovenia. To give impetus to this issue, a delegation from Slovenia is likely to come to Uttarakhand soon.