Keibul Lamjao National Park Current Affairs
The annual Sangai Festival was celebrated in northeastern state of Manipur. It is grandest festival of state named after state animal, Sangai, the critically endangered brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur. The festival aims to promote Manipur as world class tourism destination. It was inaugurated by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Sangai Tourism Festival
Tt was started in 2010 and has grown over years into big platform for Manipur to showcase its rich tradition and culture to the world. It showcases tourism potential of Manipur in field of arts & culture, handloom, handicrafts, indigenous sports, cuisine, music and adventure sports of state etc.
The focus areas of festival reflect Manipur’s rich cultural heritage and love for art of various tribes inhabiting state. It also showcases ‘Ras Leela’, state’s classical dance form along with various other folk dance performances like Bamboo dance, Maibi dance, Kabui Naga dance, Lai Haraoba dance, Khamba Thoibi dance etc.
Indigenous sports such as martial arts- Thang Ta (a combination Spear and Sword skills), Mukna Kangjei (game that combines hockey and wrestling), Yubi-Lakpi (game played with greased coconut like rugby) and Sagol Kangjei- Modern Polo (believed to have evolved in Manipur) will be also showcased festival.
Sangai Deer (Rucervus eldii) also called the Dancing Deer. It is the state animal of Manipur. Once it was found across Manipur Valley in abundant now only its remaining natural habitat is found in Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP), only floating national park in the world. It is listed as critically endangered species by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). KLNP is floating biomass in Manipur’s Loktak Lake. It is known around the world for its unique composition which is made up of biomass vegetation (locally called phumdis) that floats on surface of lake.
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has constituted a four-member team for conservation and management of Loktak Lake in Manipur.
The team will visit Loktak Lake and hold discussions with the State government, its concerned agencies and other stakeholders including people living in the vicinity of the lake.
Terms of reference of team are
- Review implementation of works undertaken with financial assistance provided by Union and State governments so far for the conservation and management of the lake.
- Suggest further interventions required for conserving the lake in a holistic manner.
- Enumerate steps required to be initiated for declaring Loktak Lake as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Identify actions and steps to be taken for increasing tourism potential of Loktak Lake.
About Loktak Lake
- Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and is famous for the phumdis floating over it.
- Phumdis are the heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition.
- Keibul Lamjao National Park is also one of Phumdis in the lake. It is only floating national park in world and is last natural refuge of endangered Sangai deer.
- This ancient lake plays an important role in the economy of Manipur. It serves as a source of water for irrigation, drinking water supply and hydropower generation.
- Considering the ecological status and its biodiversity values, Loktak lake was initially designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990.
- Later it was also listed under the Montreux Record in 1993. Human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem.