Agreement between India and Slovenia is an effort to give global recognition to the state’s biodiversity: Pushkar Singh Dhami

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  • Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand and the National Park of Slovenia have been given the status of sister parks of each other as per the MoU

Dehradun: A MoU has been signed between Uttarakhand and Slovenia. The Valley of Flowers (Chamoli) National Park of Uttarakhand and Triglav National Park of Slovenia to promote mutual cooperation in the field of management of protected areas, resource management and environmental education between Uttarakhand and Slovenia in the capital of Slovenia. The signing of the MoU has been described as an effort to give recognition to the state’s biodiversity at the global level said Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami

The Chief Minister said that both the national parks have been declared World Natural Heritage by UNESCO. This will definitely give new recognition to Uttarakhand’s contribution in forest and protected area management at the global level, and more tourists will be attracted to the beauty of the Valley of Flowers. The MoU was signed by Dr. Sameer Sinha, Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttarakhand and Dr. Tit Potonik, Director of Triglav National Park, in the presence of Smt. Namrata Kumar, Ambassador of India to Slovenia. According to this MoU, both the national parks will be given the status of sister parks of each other. In this MoU, cooperation between the two national parks will provide an opportunity to share management experiences among each other, disseminate information and present the best practices of Slovenia and Uttarakhand in forest management at the global level.

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Valley of Flowers National Park of Uttarakhand and Triglav National Park of Slovenia have both been declared World Natural Heritage by UNESCO. Valley of Flowers National Park was established in 1982 and its area is 87.5 square km. Triglav National Park is the only national park in Slovenia, which was established in 1981 and has an area of 880 square km. Triglav Peak is the highest peak in Slovenia with a height of 2863.65 metres. Just as Valley of Flowers National Park is situated in the Uttarakhand Himalayan region, similarly this national park is also situated amidst the Julian Alps mountains. The conditions, opportunities and challenges here are in many ways similar to those of the Valley of Flowers National Park.

It is especially noteworthy that this is the first time when not only Uttarakhand but any protected area of India has made such an agreement for cooperation with any protected area of a foreign country. The encouragement of Chief Minister Shri Pushkar Singh Dhami and the guidance of Forest Minister Shri Subodh Uniyal were very important in giving shape to this MoU. He has expressed happiness over this, calling it a big achievement for the state. By signing this MoU, by making the Valley of Flowers National Park a sister park, the state of Uttarakhand will be shown the contribution of Uttarakhand in forest and protected area management at the global level. Along with getting a new identity, the contribution of the local communities here will also be recognized at the international level by promoting forest management efforts through public participation. This will provide an opportunity to share information about latest techniques in forest and protected area management which will help in facing challenges like man-wildlife conflict, forest fires, climate change and UNESCO World Heritage declared areas like Valley of Flowers in the high Himalayan regions. There will be publicity about this in Europe also and more number of foreign tourists will be inspired to come here.

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During this visit to Slovenia, Ambassador of India to Slovenia Namrata Kumar and Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttarakhand, Dr. Sameer Sinha, met members of the National Assembly of Slovenia, mayors of various cities under Triglav National Park, people of Slovenia. In a meeting with many experts including the Director of the Institute of Investment and International Cooperation, they were given information about forest and wildlife management in Uttarakhand, especially the role of people’s communities in it, opportunities for mountaineering, tourism etc. and they were given various books and Other details were provided. Everyone showed keen interest in cooperating with Uttarakhand in view of the similarities between the mountainous regions of Uttarakhand and Slovenia. In the coming time, this will be taken further with the cooperation of the Embassy of India in Slovenia. To give impetus to this issue, a delegation from Slovenia is likely to come to Uttarakhand soon.

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