World Environment Day in North Sikkim by WWF-India
GANGTOK, 03 June: WWF-India has been working towards biodiversity conservation through participation of the local communities in the state for more than ten years. One of its main focus has been the conservation of high altitude wetlands in the state, fragile environments providing multiple benefits including water security, refuge for wildlife and tourist attractions.
Following a conservation model implemented in Tsomgo with conservation issues monitored by the Pokhari Sanrakshan Samity there, focus has also been given to Gurudongmar, one of the highest lakes in the world and a major tourist destination in North Sikkim. Conservation plans have been worked out in collaboration with local governance institutions like the Lachen Dzumsa, organizations like the Lachen Tourism Development Committee to ensure effective protection to the fragile high altitude environment of the lake while continuing sustainable tourism practices.
As part of the ongoing conservation activities in Lachen and Gurudongmar, WWF-India Khangchendzonga Landscape Programme, in association with Lachen Tourism Development Committee, is organizing a two-day celebration of World Environment Day, 2011 on 04 and 05 June at Lachen and Gurudongmar as part of its High Altitude Wetlands conservation Project in Sikkim.
The major activities include a garbage cleaning drive planned for Lachen on 04 June. This will be followed by a second drive at Gurudongmar on the occasion of World Environment Day on 05 June, again with participation from WWF, LTDC and Lachen Dzumsa.
It is hoped that these drives will generate major awareness regarding sustainable management of waste in two of the major tourist attractions in the state.
Two notice boards providing information on Gurudongmar and Do’s and Don’ts for the visitors will also be put up near the lake on the day. In recent years, the influx of tourists has increased manifold in Gurudongmar and while the cold desert environment restricts many anthropogenic activities with potential to cause disturbances, management of waste and ensuring that the lake environs are clean is a major issue. Dustbins aimed at proper management of wastes will also be distributed for placing at strategic locations in Lachen as part of the programme