Four-day Environmental Carnival begins at Chitternar Bandipora

BANDIPORA: A four-day environmental carnival commenced on Saturday at Forest Campus Chitternar Bandipora to raise awareness about environmental conservation and promote sustainable practices among masses.
The carnival was inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Bandipora, Shakeel Ul Rehman along with Conservator of Forests Eco Tourism Kashmir J&K, Irfan Ali Shah and other officers.
The inaugural day of the event featured a variety of activities, including cultural programmes and speeches by environmental experts, highlighting the importance of protecting the environment and promoting eco-friendly technologies.
The carnival held under the theme Land Restoration, desertification, and drought resilience also provided a platform for local organizations and departments to showcase their efforts in environmental sustainability.
Speaking on the occasion, the DC highlighted collaborative efforts to combat environmental challenges. He expressed his unwavering commitment to realizing the vision of sustainable eco-tourism in the district and to save the environment.
Emphasizing safeguarding ecosystems and protecting biodiversity, the DC stressed environmental conservation as a core component of desertification prevention and sustainable land management.
Conservator of Forests Eco Tourism J&K in his address lauded the efforts of DC Bandipora for ban on polythene use in Gurez. He highlighted various efforts and strategies required to promote Eco-tourism as a sustainable means of economic development.
In a bid to harness the natural beauty and cultural richness of Bandipora while preserving its ecological integrity, he outlined a series of innovative efforts and strategies.
Recognizing the immense potential and natural landscapes and biodiversity of Gurez, Irfan emphasized the importance of the value addition of medicinal plants available in Gurez. He also highlighted initiatives such as homestays as ways to promote sustainable tourism while fostering economic opportunities for local populations.
Speaking on the occasion, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Bandipora Sandeep Butt deliberated on proper land utilization and afforestation. He stressed the importance of individual responsibility and community engagement in effecting meaningful change.
Principal Kashmir Forest Training School, Davinder pal Singh said that the aim of the program is to sensitize the younger generation regarding environmental issues.
Addressing the gathering, Executive Director Wildlife Conservation Fund and Environmental Lawyer, Nadeem Qadri highlighted challenges of plastic menace and effects of Single Use Plastic on human and aquatic life.
He also called for collective efforts to save Asia’s largest water body, Wular Lake, to conserve and protect it.
Earlier in his welcome address, Project Coordinator Water Management WUCMA, Altaf Hussain Denthoo highlighted significant economic consequences of over exploitation of land.
He also highlighted the importance of land for sustenance and emphasized awareness regarding degradation and desertification of land besides stressing on adopting strategies to overcome desertification and restore degraded lands.
On the occasion various departments had installed stalls including Education, Fisheries, RSETI, Ayush, Horticulture, Agriculture, Handicrafts/Handloom, Forest Protection, WUCMA besides a stall by tribal Culture Reviver Shahida Majeed showcasing cultural diversity of tribals.
The event also witnessed cultural performance by Students of Higher Secondary School Aragam and a group of girls led by tourism promoter Shabnum Bashir, who showcased various traditional environmental friendly lifestyle practices.
The event also witnessed the presence of DFO Bandipora, Project Coordinator CAT (eco-tourism and livelihood) WUCMA, DFO Anantnag, officers from Forest, Wildlife and NHPC.
The carnival is being organised by J&K Forest Department Bandipora Forest Division and Wular Conservation and Management Authority Kashmir in association with Forest Protection Force, Kashmir Forest Training School Bandipora, Kashmir Eco Watch, Wildlife Research Conservation Foundation and Wildlife Conservation Fund.
Various events are scheduled for the carnival including Camping, Trekking/Nature Walk, Pedal for plastic free Bandipora, Run for Green and Clean Bandipora, Boat Race at Wular lake, Painting Competition with the theme paint for environment besides


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