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Conservation project of Rs 5 crore for picturesque Spiti valley

 SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh government is going to spend Rs 5.12 crore in Spiti valley of Lahaul-Spiti district under 'Spiti Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve' (CDBR) conservation plan to sensitize local inhabitants about environment, biodiversity conservation and to seek their active participation in development and conservation.


A plan of Rs 5.12 crore recently submitted by state wildlife wing of forest department under Management Action Plan Project to the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change has been sanctioned. Officials said that forest department would implement the project through local committees including women representative from gram panchayats over a period of five year. In the first phase, plan of Rs 81.48 lakh has been received by the department for the year 2014-15 to carry out various activities in this regard.


Among total 18 CDBR of the country, only Spiti area of Himachal Pradesh was declared 'Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve' in the year 2009. Bestowed with abundant natural beauty and representing unique bio-physical features of the trans Himalayan ecosystem, it is spread over area of 7770 sq km.


According to officials, CDBR comprises of Pin Valley National Park and its surroundings, Chandertal and Sarchu and Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary. The pride of Spiti Valley and one of the oldest monasteries, Tabo Monastery has been declared a "World Heritage site". By effectively implementing this project efforts would be made for inclusion of CDBR under "Man and Biosphere" (MAB) programme of Unesco, officials added.


The components of the Comprehensive Management Action Plan (CAMP) include awareness and capacity building of local communities and staff, improving infrastructural facilities, habitat restoration, biodiversity conservation, socio-economic development through promotion of farm cultivation and animal husbandry, non-conventional energy and fuel saving devices, water supply, cultivation for medicinal and aromatics plants.


CDBR is mostly dominated by more than 500 herbaceous and scrub species. More than 118 species of valuable medicinal and aromatic plants are found in the area. The notable shrubby species are Junipers, Hippophae, Myricaria, Caragna, Rosa, Lonicera, Ephedra, etc. The high value medicinal species are Aconitum, Podophyllum, Swertia, Rheum, Thymus and Picrorrhiza. The rare wildlife species found are Snow Leopard, Wolf, Brown and Black Bear, Blue Sheep, Ibex, Tibetan Gazzle, Red Fox, Weasel, Marmot, Griffon, Lammergeyer, Golden Eagle and Snow Cock.


Components of CAMP dove tails with the Snow Leopard Protection Programme of Rs 5.15 crore underway in the parts of the Spiti Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve which the snow leopard programme takes care of the wild flora and fauna of the snow leopard zone, CAMP provisions complement the holistic development efforts by concentrating on human development aspect livelihood etc.


Studies and research proposals include dissemination of best practices of biodiversity conservation, monitoring of glaciers receding, climate change.



September 15, 2014, The Times of India