Wildlife Institute of India located in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India has become the first United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) centre for Natural World Heritage Management and training for the Asia Pacific region last week.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has approved Rs. 18.66 crore to the centre. As a consequence of human population explosion, catastrophic disaster and other related human activities the natural ecosystem is under extreme deteriorating condition. The natural heritage conservation has not been going well due the factors related to deterioration in ecosystem. In view point of these problems, the challenges can be thwarted with proper conservation and management. All the countries in Asia – pacific do not have the capacity to address these challenges. So, a need of Centre was felt where training for three area-site selection, inscription, management and protection could be provided for natural heritage conservation.
The ‘Request for Action’ was submitted in September 2012 to Director – General, UNESCO for the Centre of Excellence on Natural World Heritage for Asia – Pacific region at WII. The approval by UNESCO executive board was granted on 19 November 2013 and on 5 August 2015 the Union Cabinet approved.
The WII centre shall become torchbearer for the Asia – Pacific countries.
The eight countries where UNESCO has established the centres are China, Norway, South Africa, Bahrain, Mexico, Italy, Brazil and Spain for capacity building for World Cultural Heritage Sites. But, the WII is the first centre for World Natural Heritage Sites.
There are seven natural world heritage sites in India alone which could become an asset for tourism in India. The WII centre shall help in preserving these sites and new sites could also be included. These progresses shall boost the tourism in India.
Many tourists visit these world heritage sites and make it sure that any should not left in the list. The tourism in Asia – pacific should be responsible in order to promote the same.
These sites also give the boost to local livelihood due to backward and forward linkages associated with the tourism activity