Doon Valley Spring Bird Festival: Uniting Birds, Birdwatchers & Communities
11th-14th February 2016, Dehradun
The enchanting Doon Valley…the Shivaliks, the Himalayan foothills, the wetlands….and a host of exciting birds to boot. Come; immerse yourself in Doon Valley’s avifaunal diversity.
Background: Bird species diversity of Uttarakhand State is unparalleled with a reported bird list of 693 species 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 Program was launched on 5th February 2012 from Asan Conservation Reserve to promote bird tourism. Under this program, 27 Bird 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 – Ist Uttarakhand Spring Bird Festival at Asan Conservation Reserve from 5th to 9th February 2014; two-day Rajpur Nature Festival on 1st and 2nd Nov. 2014; 2nd Uttarakhand Spring Bird Festival 4th to 8th February 2015.The proposed Doon Valley Spring Bird Festival builds on the learning of the past events and will be on an expanded scale.
Purpose: The purpose of the DVSBF will be to improve the profile of Uttarakhand as a crucial state in India for bird conservation and as a birdwatching destination. 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 Program. The DVSBF 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:
1. To provide an opportunity for Birdwatching in Doon Valley and adjoining areas to birdwatchers and the general public.
2. To increase awareness about birds and bird tourism, its ongoing and potential benefits for bird conservation and community-based livelihoods through ecotourism.
3. To create an opportunity for networking of bird tour operators, local community members including home stay owners and guides, tourism industry and planners for sharing knowledge and collaboration.
4. To showcase off beat destination and rural tourism initiatives in Uttarakhand.
Dates: The DVSBF will be a four-day event that will start on the morning of Thursday 11th February and end on the evening of Sunday 14th February 2014.
Venue: Birdwatching and other walks will be organized simultaneously at 4 locations in the Doon Valley – Asan Conservation Reserve, Timli; Forest Research Institute; Rajpur and Thano Reserved Forest. The festival activities will be conducted in the Forest Guard Training School Rampur Mandi and at FRI campus.
Activities: The DVSBF will include diverse activities:
• Inaugural Ceremony: The Bird Festival will be inaugurated on Thursday 11th February 2016 with a Keynote address.
• Guided birdwatching will be organized for birdwatchers and public (free of cost).
• Heritage Walks (free of cost)
• Lectures & Seminars on Bird Conservation & Tourism at FRI, Dehradun: Presentations on bird conservation projects, programs and rural tourism enterprises will be made during the Seminar and miscellaneous activities (book reading, quiz, etc.).
• Mela: A 3 day mela will have scientific displays including demonstration of equipment and activities, vendors, food stalls, local produce,.
• Photography Workshops on 12 and 13 February 2016
• Fun activities for school children such as painting competitions, quizzes, audio-visual presentations
• Closing Ceremony: The festival will culminate in the afternoon on Sunday 14th February 2016.
Participants: It is expected that the four-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 as well as some foreigners. The participants will include past trainees from Ecotourism Wing’s capacity building programmes (nature guides, cooks and FRH Attendants), educational and training institutions, forestry staff and general public.
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 Timli Reserved Forest, approximately 10 kilometers from Asan Conservation Reserve.
Partners: The event will be organized by the Uttarakhand Forest Department (Publicity & Extension, Ecotourism Wing & Environment) with support from Forest Research Institute, , Chakrata, Kalsi, Dehradun and Mussoorie Forest Divisions, partner institutions (Titli Trust, Nature Science Initiative, WWF Uttarakhand, Rajpur Community Initiative, REACH, Wild Life Institute of India and Bombay Natural History Society), local nature and bird clubs, Suniti Bhushan Datta, Ashish Kothari and other individuals. Forest Department and Tourism Organizations from Punjab, HP and other states will also be invited to participate in the event.
Registration: Online registration for birdwatching trails, heritage walks and photography workshops will open soon.
For More Information:
Chief Conservator of Forests Publicity & Extension firstname.lastname@example.org;
Chief Conservator of Forests Ecotourism
29/6 Pritam Road, Dalanwala Dehradun 248001 Tel/Fax 0135-2669227
Sanjay Sondhi, Titli Trust
Anchal Sondhi, Titli Trust
Raman Kumar, Nature Science Initiative
Suniti Bhushan Datta