4th Uttarakhand Spring Bird Festival: Uniting Birds, Birdwatchers & Communities
3rd to 5th March 2017, Nandhaur WLS, Kumaon
Background:Bird species diversity of Uttarakhand State is unparalleled with a reported birdlist of 693 species (Mohan & Sondhi, 2015) representing more than half of all bird species found in India. Bird Tourism holds immense promise for both conservation of this unique heritage and benefits for livelihood generation in remote areas of the State. Uttarakhand Birdwatching Programme was launched on 5thFebruary 2012 from Asan Conservation Reserve to promote bird tourism. Under this programme, more than 30bird watching camps have been conducted during the last three years at various rural tourism destinations.More than 600 forest staff, nature guides and students have already benefitted from these camps. The camps have been supplemented with large scale events organised by the Uttarakhand Forest Department– 1stUttarakhand Spring Bird Festival at Asan Conservation Reserve from 5th to 9th February 2014; 2nd Uttarakhand Spring Bird Festival 4th to 8th February 2015.; 3rd Doon Valley Spring Bird Festival held in Asan, Forest Research Institute, Rajpur and Thano from 11th to 14th February 2016 as well as the Rajpur Nature Festivals in November 2015 and 2016.
Purpose: The purpose of USBF will be to improve the profile of Uttarakhand as a crucial state in India for bird conservation and as a birdwatching destination as well as to popularize lesser known destinations such as Nandhaur WLS-the location of the 4th Uttarakhand Spring Bird Festival. The Bird Festival will help to scale up bird awareness, birdwatching activity and benefits through bird tourism and ecotourism. The Festival will seek to build on the partnerships and investments of the Uttarakhand Birdwatching Programme. The USBF will be organized in such a way that it is more inclusive and visible and draws strength from the location of State’s Capital.
The specific objectives will be:
- To provide an opportunity for Birdwatching in NandhaurWLS to birdwatchers and the general public.
- To increase awareness about birds and bird tourism, its ongoing and potential benefits for bird conservation and community-based livelihoods through ecotourism.
- To create an opportunity for networking of bird tour operators and rural tourism practitioners, local community members including home stay owners and guides, tourism industry and planners for sharing knowledge and collaboration.
- To showcase off beat destinations and rural tourism initiatives in Uttarakhand.
Dates: The DSBF will be a threeday event that will start on the morning of Friday3rd March 2017 and end on the evening of Sunday 5th March 2017.
Venue: Birdwatching and other walks will be organizedat Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary, Kumaon.The festival location will be at the Chorgalia Forest Rest House campus, 25 kilometer from Haldwani. The Festival will be preceded by a birdwatching camp for nature guides and team leaders.
Activities:The USBF 4 will include diverse activities:
- Birdwatching Camp: A Birdwatching camp will be conducted to orient the guides and team leaders.
- Inaugural Ceremony: The Bird Festival will be inaugurated on Friday3rdMarch 2017 with a keynote address.
- Guided birdwatching will be organized for birdwatchers and public.
- Separate guided birdwatching will be conducted for schools and institutions, at convenient timings.
- Seminars & Workshop on Birds & Conservation: Presentations on bird conservation projects, programmes and rural tourism enterprises will be made during the Seminar and miscellaneous activities (book reading, quiz, etc.).
- Nature education specialists will conduct a whole range of activities during the festival for children.
- Closing Ceremony: The festival will culminate in the evening on Sunday 5th March 2017.
Accommodation: Boarding and lodging will have to be organised and paid for by visitors. Limited tented accommodation for visitors is being organised on a paid basis at Chorgaila Forest Rest House campus, approximately 25 kilometers from Haldwani.
Participants: It is expected that thethree-day Bird Festival will attract over 2,000 participants in various activities. The participants will come largely from Dehradun and other parts of Uttarakhand but also Delhi, Punjab and HP. The participants will include past trainees from Ecotourism Wing’s capacity building programmes (nature guides, cooks and FRH Attendants), schools, educational and training institutions, forestry staff and general public.
Partners: The event will be organized by the Uttarakhand Forest Department (Ecotourism Wing) with support from DFO Haldwaniand partner institutions (Titli Trust, Nature Science Initiative, WWF, Rainbow Friends of Nature and Environment, Pawalgarh Prakrati Prahari), local nature and bird clubs and individuals such as Suniti Bhushan Datta and Shweta Golani. Forest Department and Tourism Organizations from Punjab, HP and other states will also be invited to participate in the event.
For more information, contact
Chief Conservator of Forests (Ecotourism), Uttarakhand Forest Department
29/6 Pritam Road, Dalanwala Dehradun 248001 Tel/Fax 0135-2669227
DFO Haldwani, +91 9412084977
Sanjay Sondhi, Titli Trust
Raman Kumar, Nature Science Initiative