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Wildlife at Risk Due to Mass Tourism: Biologists

A report, titled "The Value of Wildlife Tourism around Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan for Wildlife Conservation and Local Communities", was also released

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Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary. Wikimedia

Renowned conservation biologist Raghu Chundawat on Friday said tourists travelling in large numbers to the forests in India is a threat to the wildlife and ecosystem as most of the tourists are “not responsible”.

Speaking on the sidelines of “TOFTigers Sustaining the Wildlife”, Chundawat said: “Mass tourism generates huge amounts of money to governments, but at the same time it also has negative impacts and threat to the wildlife and ecosystem of the forests.”

Tourism
Sunderbans Tiger reserve, India. Wikimedia Commons

“Now there is a rapid increase of wildlife-based mass tourism specially on the weekends… This ruins the habitat, as some visitors throw garbage which consist more of plastic.”

Chundawat’s pioneering 10-year research on the Panna tigers was immortalised by BBC in the documentary — “Tigers of the Emerald Forest”.

Tourism
Common Crane bird at Kutch

The conservation biologist said that loss of habitat is another issue that impacts tiger conservation. The big cat’s habitat is now limited to “seven per cent of its original range”, he said.

Also Read: India to Host UN Global Wildlife Conference in 2020

A report, titled “The Value of Wildlife Tourism around Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan for Wildlife Conservation and Local Communities”, centering India’s poor record with sustainable tourism practices in and around wildlife reserves, was also released on the occasion. (IANS)

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First Hindu Temple Lays Foundation Stone in Abu Dhabi

The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said

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abu dhabi, hindu temple
The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. Wikimedia

The historic foundation stone-laying ceremony of the first traditional Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi was performed on Saturday in the presence of officials from India and the United Arab Emirates as well as thousands of members of the community.

The ceremony was presided over by Mahant Swami Maharaj — the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha — the organisation building the temple, along with other priests. Indian Ambassador Navdeep Suri attended the event in the presence of over 2,500 Indians from the UAE and across the world, according to Gulf News.

Suri and BAPS Hindu Mandir committee head and community leader B.R. Shetty were among those who laid foundation stones. Some 50 priests from India were part of the ceremony, the Khaleej Times reported.

Crown Prince, abu dhabi, hindu temple
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Wikimedia

UAE’s Minister of Climate Change Thani Al Zoyoudi and Ahmad Bilhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Sciences, were among the attendees.  The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said.

ALSO READ: Attack on Three Churches, Luxury Hotels in SriLanka on Easter

The stones of the temple will be hand-carved by artisans in India and then transported to Abu Dhabi. Once completed, this will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East.

The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. (IANS)