by our correspondent, Bhuj, 29 January 2013
The third Global Bird Watchers’ Conference 2013 that was inaugurated on Monday at Dhordo, Kutch by Mr. Sanjay Kaul, IAS, Commissioner & Managing Director, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd. in the presence of Mr. Lavkumar Khachar, Naturalist and Educator(in photograph). Bird watchers from across India are joined by 82 international delegates across 40 countries like Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and the UK to attend the four-day event.
The event is an initiative of Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited and co-organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and supported by The Blue Yonder Associates, Bombay Natural History Society, Bird Conservation Society, Infinity Resorts and Royal Safari Camp.
The main objective of the conference was to preserve the natural beauty and wildlife which is threatened by the increased modernization; hence the conference aims to be a sustainable and green event such that it will have minimum impact on the natural and social environments.
All the participants visited Chhari Lake, Kutch on the second day of the conference to watch various species of the birds. They will also have similar opportunity on day three of the event, when they will visit Kalo Dungar, Kutch.
The day three will also witness in-depth discussion on various issues related to sustenance of appropriate eco-systems for these beautiful creatures of nature. In the three plenary sessions, to be held during the day will also focus on birds of Gujarat, bird tourism and bird photography. The sessions will be addressed by Dr. C N Pandey, PCCF – WL, Government of Gujarat (on Birding Destinations & Birds in Gujarat), Dr. Raju Kasambe, BNHS, (Bird Tourism in India & Gujarat as a Hotspot), Mr. Arpit Deomurari, Ornithologist, (Gujarat: A bird paradise), Mr. Nahar Mohammed, GUJTOP, (Gujarat as a Bird Watching Destination: Evaluating the potential), Mr. Michael Lu, Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, Mr. Andrew Sebastian, Malaysian Nature Society, Mr. Victor Yu, Taiwan Ecotourism Association, Mr. Simon Busuttil, Ornithologist, UK, Mr. Saurabh Desai and Mr. John Arifin, Photo Journalist and Travel Writer. The last day of the event is dedicated for experience sharing.
For the bird watchers’ community, the event offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the delicate symphony of chirping of lovely feathered friends of the mankind and simultaneously get together to keep this deep music alive for the generations to come.
It is worthwhile to mention that Gujarat is fast emerging as an eco-tourism destination; boasting of a wide range of pristine and even hitherto unexplored destinations for avid nature lovers. The environment in the state of Gujarat is so conducive that even the angels of nature – birds – feel the spirit and flock down from distant lands. The state hosts over 520 species of birds and has been attracting these wonderful creatures for decades. The 3rd Global Bird Watchers’ Conference is an endeavor to not only showcase this strength of Gujarat; but importantly to also deliberate the way forward for the state.