Pampore, Dec 28: Celebrating bird festivals is part of the promotion of eco, nature and sustainable tourism and people need to value whatever they have, officials said on Thursday.
Officials said that the bird festival was celebrated for the first time in Pahalgam last year and this year it was held today at Chatlam Wetland Reserve Pampore where Chief Justice of J&K and Ladakh Justice N Kotisar Singh was chief guest.
“In a bid to raise awareness about avian diversity and conservation efforts, the Bird Festival is being celebrated with an aim to bring together bird enthusiasts, researchers, and the general public,” they said.
“The festival seeks to foster a deeper understanding of the vital role birds play in maintaining ecological balance while promoting a sense of responsibility towards their habitat,” they added.
“Bird festivals offer several benefits, including promoting environmental awareness, conservation efforts, and education about avian species. These events often foster a sense of community engagement, encourage bird watching as a recreational activity, and contribute to the local economy through tourism and related businesses. Additionally, bird festivals can inspire people to appreciate and protect the diverse bird species within their region,” the officials said.
Deputy Director Tourism Deeba Khalid, told KNO that the bird festival brings together different sections of people that helps to mobilize community efforts about how people should value what they have and they have an important role in nature here.
She said that wetlands are an important component and the aim behind the celebration of the bird festival is part of the promotion of eco, nature and sustainable tourism.
“This is part of that endeavour as far as the tourism perspective is concerned and apart from that you have people from all walks of life who should be aware of the treasure of birds we have,” she added.
She further said 1300 species of birds are found in the sub continent and 600 of them are found in Kashmir and among them many are migratory birds.
“Right now, we have the winter migration season and we are witnessing that birds are coming in here from Siberia, from Central Asia as here they experience milder winter as compared to Siberia and other areas who return back after breeding in a few months,” she added.
“This is a spectacle of nature and there is need for awareness that these bird species need to be protected and to encourage our young generation to recognise what potential this has and how important conservation of these species is,” she added further.
“Birding is a multimillion dollar industry all over the world and we have seen that birders would come to see a single bird from continents away and we have to tap in that potential as well,” she added further.
This will help in promoting tourism and will also bring to the fore those aspects of the tourism sector which are yet to be explored.
Other officials said that Kashmir valley is rich in biodiversity, and this festival will certainly play a key role in traversing this incredible biodiversity and making it one of the favourite destinations for bird lovers as well as nature enthusiasts.
Officials from several departments along students, social activists were part of the festival.