Chilika for UNWTO Project
A major birding site in the country, Chilika has been chosen by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) as one of the eight global sites for development of sustainable tourism and livelihood of local community to maintain its status as a destination for migratory birds.
Under the project ‘Destination Flyways’, the UN arm would help Chilika Development Authority (CDA) develop strategies for protection of migratory birds through creation of innovative tourism and livelihood products with funding support from Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany.
Sites in Germany, Senegal, Egypt, Tanzania, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea and China coming under four major flyways -- the East-Atlantic, West Asian-East African, Central Asian and East Asian Australasian -- are also part of the initiative.
Chilika, the only site in Asia to be selected, was strongly recommended by six international agencies, including Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity, Convention of Migratory Species, Ramsar Convention Secretariat, World Heritage and also Man and the Biosphere Programmes of the UNESCO. The UN body’s arm on tourism and biodiversity would assist in development and implementation of strategies and projects linking sustainable tourism and livelihood resources.
A mission team of the UNWTO, led by Virginia Trapa and Dr Taej Mundkur, met top brass of Union Ministry of Tourism and Odisha Tourism Department last week.