Arunachal: Khandu kickstarts 2nd edition of Eagle Nest Birding Festival

SHERGAON- Chief Minister Pema Khandu today declared the 2nd edition of the Eagle Nest Birding Festival open at Oaktum Thongre village here in West Kameng district open and called upon the organizers to push the festival as an event connected to nature without disturbing the peace and tranquility of the virgin region.

To mark the occasion, Khandu unveiled two community reserves – Tukpon and Sungkhit – of 18 and 25 sq kms respectively, donated by the villagers, which will be preserved and used by the community members for promotion of tourism in the area.

Khandu lauded members of the Sherdukpen community inhabiting the Shergaon valley for the initiative, which he said, will go a long way in preserving the rich biodiversity of the state.

He assured to officially declare the festival as a calendar event of the state government and asked the authorities to submit a proposal in this regard after finalizing a date for the event.

Terming the ‘Airgun Surrender Abhiyan’ of the state’s Forest, Environment and Climate Change department as a major initiative, Khandu said people have voluntarily surrendered their guns used for hunting.

“This is in turn has resulted in abrupt rise of bird population across the state,” he said.


Khandu informed that Arunachal Pradesh is home to more than 500 species of birds of which 471 are found in Eagle Nest Wildlife sanctuary alone. He hailed the people of West Kameng residing in the periphery of the sanctuary for preserving the bird species since ages through community mobilizations. He expressed optimism that creation of the Tukpon and Sungkhit Community Reserves will further boost in preservation of wildlife in the area.

Revealing Arunachal Pradesh as one major carbon sink of the country, Khandu said the state government is exploring possibilities to ‘monetize’ the advantage so that people can benefit from their forests without disturbing the environment and without felling a single tree.

“Please ensure that this Eagle Nest Birding Festival is truly connected to nature devoid of loud music, cultural programs and pollution,” he suggested.

Earlier on the day, Khandu flagged off the Eagle Nest Birding Festival Cycle Challenge 2022 with the theme ‘Say No to Drugs’.

Also present on the occasion were Advisor, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Kumsi Sidisow, local legislator Dorjee Wangdi Kharma, army officials and representatives of district administration.


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