World’s First Centre for Conservation of Natural Heritage in India: Implications

World’s First Centre for Conservation of Natural Heritage in India: Implications

Question : India is set to establish the world’s first centre for conservation of natural world heritage sites at WII, Dehradun with the aid of UNESCO. Discuss the implications of this for the biodiversity of India.

- India has signed an agreement with UNESCO for establishing the first centre across the globe for conservation of natural World Heritage sites at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun

- Institute will cater to the Asia Pacific region and locate natural heritage sites across 50 nations

- This marks the first time an existing institution has been provided recognition by UNESCO

- This is the first centre to be established for management and training in the field of natural heritage across the globe

- Centre will function as a part of WII and share its human resources, management and campus

- UNESCO reps will be on its governing council

- Management and monitoring of natural heritage and biodiversity is the focus of this agreement

- Currently, only centres for conservation of cultural heritage sites have been developed in 8 nations : South Africa, Spain, Italy, China, Bahrain, Brazil, Mexico and Norway

- The Dehradun centre will work for conservation of 'natural' heritage.

- The centre will promote capacity building, research and development and knowledge sharing

- It will assist UNESCO in implementing strategic programme objectives for member states

- A time frame for improving forest cover will also be suggested

Facts and Stats

- UNESCO’s first centre for natural heritage conservation will preserve 67 natural heritage sites across 50 nations

- Asia Pacific region is home to 227 world heritage sites of which 59 are natural heritage sites

32 of these sites are in India including the following:

- Kaziranga National Park

- Sunderban National Park

- Keoladeo National Park

- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary

- Nanda Devi

- Valley of Flowers National Park

- Western Ghats (includes national parks and sanctuaries here)

- Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area
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