M A I N   N E W S

HP national park gets UNESCO World Heritage status 
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 23
The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO that met at Doha in Qatar has finally bestowed the status of a World Heritage Site on Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) Conservation area in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.

The inscription of the GHNP as a world heritage site came through after the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO gave its nod at its 38th meeting held in Doha today. The GHNP has made it to the coveted list of UNESCO world heritage sites based on Criterion 10 of the UNESCO guidelines.

Photo: www.greathimalayannationalpark.com

A three-member team comprising Principal Chief Conservator of Forest RK Gupta and Additional Principal Chief Conservator (Wildlife) Lalit Mohan had gone to Doha to plead the case at today’s meeting. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the advisory body of UNESCO’s Committee on Nature had nominated 12 sites across the world for granting of world heritage status site.

The criteria on the basis of which the GHNP made it to UNESCO list was that it qualified as having the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said it was a matter of great pride that the GHNP had been bestowed with the status of a world heritage site. “It will give Himachal global publicity which will go a long way in promoting tourism,” he remarked.

Tarun Sridhar, Principal Secretary (Forest) said villagers will continue to enjoy their traditional rights. “People residing in the area will continue to be an integral part of the natural heritage whose protection now will be the responsibility of the global community after the bestowing of the UNESCO world heritage site,” he stated.

It was nine years ago that the ball was set rolling to get the UNESCO world heritage site status for the GHNP. The 250-page application prepared by the Friends of GHNP was evaluated by the IUCN which sent its scientist Dr Graeme Worboys on a field inspection to GHNP in October 2012.

The Friends of GHNP responded to various queries of the IUCN, including referral information demanded in the 37th meeting of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) in June 2013 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

Home to threatened species

Great Himalayan National Park is home to several rare and threatened species, including western tragopan, chir pheasant, snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer, Asiatic black bear, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep and serow and some 25 threatened IUCN red-listed plant species.





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