Manas National Park Current Affairs
The two-day Assam Spring Festival was held at Manas National Park. It was organised by Indian Weavers’ Association and Swankar Mithinga Onsai Afat, an association of reformed poachers in Manas who are now engaged in wildlife conservation and preservation.
The aim of the festival was to promote local food and culture of fringe villagers. It also attempted to create model of alternative livelihood through food, handloom and culture. The itinerary of festival included village tours, exposition of local handicraft and handloom, cultural showcase, local folk music and tasting of local cuisines and delicacies. It saw participation of over 300 domestic and foreign tourists. Residents of fringe villages that dot National Park gave tourists experience of lifetime by offering them peek into their rural lives.
Manas National Park
Manas National Park (or Manas wildlife sanctuary) is UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve in Assam. It is home to a great variety of wildlife, including many endangered species viz. tiger, pygmy hog, Indian one horn rhinoceros and Indian elephant. It is located in Himalayan foothills and is contiguous with Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. It covers five districts of Assam- Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang, Udalguri and Barpeta. The Manas river, a major tributary of Brahmaputra River passes through heart of national park.
Assam-based ecologist and conservation activist Bibhuti Lahkar has won prestigious ‘Heritage Heroes Award’ of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
With this, he became the first Asian to win this prestigious environmental award. He was presented this award at the IUCN’s ongoing World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Lahkar was among five conservationists across the globe to be nominated for 2016 Heritage Heroes Award. Others were Bantu Lukambo and Josue Kambasu Mukura (Congo), Yulia Naberezhnaya and Andrey Rudomahka (Russia)
About Bibhuti Lahkar
- For the past two decades Lahkar, has been working to save the grasslands, flora and fauna of Manas National Park area.
- Currently, he is engaged as Manas Landscape Administrator for Aaranyak, an NGO working for biodiversity conservation in northeast India.
- He has intensively studied grasslands of Manas and is globally recognised as an expert in threatened flora and fauna of the Terai region along southern foothills of the Himalayas.
- He was also instrumental in connecting Manas Wildlife Sanctuary with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan.
- Connecting them had led to a system of trans-boundary wildlife monitoring which now supports management in entire Manas natural area that spreads across India and Bhutan.
- He also had conducted the first GIS survey of the Manas and his research findings and recommendations were critical component in the Manas Tiger Conservation Plan.
IUCN’s Heritage Heroes Award: It aims at recognising “outstanding efforts” of persons around the world in making a difference in the conservation of World Heritage sites in challenging situations.