VIJAYAWADA: As part of efforts to get the UNESCO world heritage site tag for the Coringa mangroves in East Godavari district, the State government has constituted a committee to study the conditions needed to be fulfilled to achieve the coveted status.
The State government eyes heritage site tag for the mangroves so that it would get UNESCO funding to protect and preserve the wildlife sanctuary and attract international tourists. Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of nearly 269 species of birds and is the second largest stretch of mangrove forests in India with 24 tree species.
The government has also sent a proposal to the Centre for identifying the mangroves as a Ramsar Site, a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
The Convention on Wetlands, known as the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental environmental treaty established in 1971 by UNESCO. The Convention provides national action and international cooperation regarding the conservation of wetlands and sustainable use of their resources. Ramsar identifies wetlands of international importance, especially those providing waterfowl habitat.
The proposal for getting the Ramsar site was sent to the Union Ministry of Environment well before the elections.
Now, the environment, forests, science and technology department has constituted a panel to study the “fulfilment of principles and prerequisites required for proposing the mangroves and preparing the application in full shape with all details for declaration (of the mangroves) as World Heritage site.”
The committee will be headed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and the Chief Wildlife Warden and IFS officer Dr Shanti Priya Pandey, who is the Chief Conservator of Forests, Rajahmundry Circle, will be its vice-chairperson.
The other members include Dr K Thulasi Rao, Director, Biodiversity Research and Extension, AP State Biodiversity Board, Dr Ravi Sankar Thupalli, State Project Coordinator, EGREE Project.