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| Report on the UNESCO-IUCN Mission to The Manas WH Site, Assam |

2005 is the centenary year. Since the formation of Manas, it has added number of feathers to it’s crown such as Reserve Forest, Wildlife Sanctuary, National Park, Tiger Reserve, Elephant Reserve, Important Bird Area and Biosphere Reserve. All this has been possible only because of the conservation tradition of the Bodos living around Manas.

Manas Wildife Sanctuary, India, State of Assam, N26 43 30 E91 01 50 was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.The brief description says: “On a gentle slope in the foothills of the Himalayas, where wooded hills give way to alluvial grasslands and tropical forests, the Manas sanctuary is home to a great variety of wildlife, including many endangered species, such as the Tiger, Pygmy Hog, Indian Rhinoceros and Indian Elephants”.

The December,1985 report of the World Heritage Committee, Ninth ordinary session says: “The committee expressed it’s satisfaction that the Indian and Bhutanese governments had cancelled plans for construction of  a hydroelectric dam on the Manas river which would have had severe impact on the integrity of this property. The committee furthermore encouraged the government of Bhutan to adhere to the World Heritage Convention and to nominate the contiguous Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan which would then from a trans-frontier  World Heritage Property”.

It is very unfortunate that Manas entered the ‘List of World Heritage Sites in Danger-1992’.The World Heritage Committee in the report of 22nd session, Kyoto 1998 informed that the implementation of rehabilitation plan for this site was progressing satisfactorily.

2005, Manas is politically stable in the able hands of the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC). The Field Director of the Tiger Reserve has been able to build up very strong relationship with some villages in and around the Tiger Reserve with the support of  different conservation groups. The younger generation has taken up conservation of Manas Tiger Reserve as their mission.

The best example of community participation in conservation is Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society (MMES).

For birding in east & north east India visit East India Birding -  www.eastindiabirding.com

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