Manipur in mixed-site tag race
The Centre wants to promote Keibul Lamjao conservation area in Manipur as a "mixed site" under Unesco.
- Published 23.12.15
Guwahati, Dec. 22: The Centre wants to promote Keibul Lamjao conservation area in Manipur as a "mixed site" under Unesco.
A mixed site contains elements of both natural and cultural significance.
There are no mixed sites from India in the Unesco list at present.
However, there is a chance that Khangchendzonga National Park of Sikkim, which has been nominated as a mixed site, might get the tag in 2017.
Official sources said a meeting was held at Imphal yesterday by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun (an autonomous institution under ministry of forest, environment and climate change ) with local communities and forest department officials to garner support from all the stakeholders. If it happens, this would be the first site from Manipur to be included in the World Heritage List of mixed site.
The 223 square km Keibul Lamjao conservation area comprises a core area of Keibul Lamjao National Park and Loktak lake.
The submission made to Unesco by the Manipur forest department for inclusion in its tentative list stated that the area was of superlative natural beauty and provides some of the most spectacular scenery on earth and is culturally associated with indigenous people.
The area comprises a unique ecosystem, which is rich in biodiversity. Nearly 185 plant species have been recorded in the area. Globally threatened species were recorded including black-necked stork, Oriental darter and ferruginous duck.
The department said the area was substantially intact and of sufficient size for the conservation of its biodiversity and other natural resources. "It fully represents the unique natural features of the national park and the lake. The property forms a large area for in-situ conservation of rare and endangered species while sustaining the evolutionary biological processes," it said.
The Loktak lake has a unique ecosystem called phumdi (a Manipuri word meaning floating mats of soil and vegetation). The largest area of the phumdi in the lake is in the Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is home to the sangai.