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Forest department discusses ecotourism initiatives in Noida

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On Tuesday, the forest department conducted an event to promote ecotourism at the Surajpur wetland in Greater Noida and Okhla Bird Sanctuary in Noida. As per officials, the activities include bird-watching tours and a cycle rally nature walks and bird-watching tours.

A cycle rally of school students was flagged off by the Chief conservator of forests (Meerut zone) NK Janu in the Surajpur wetland. 

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Officials said that students were also taken for a bird-watching ride and were given a few insights about the many migratory and resident birds in Noida. Additionally, visitors to the Okhla Bird Sanctuary were allowed a bird-watching tour in golf carts and during nature walks.

Lately, even the state government is taking every measure in order to promote ecotourism as well as other related activities. It will help them to make people aware of the protection of local ecosensitive zones.

“The Surajpur wetland and the Okhla Bird Sanctuary are rich bird habitats and we see several bird species here every year. We are trying to increase ecotourism in both areas so that more people can be made aware of the rich ecosystem here,” said PK Srivastava, divisional forest officer, Gautam Budh Nagar.

At the beginning of the year, around June in Noida, Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation conducted a day-long national conference to find new ways as well as discuss ecotourism and new ways and utilising forest produce. Currently, UP has just around three ecotourism spots i.e Katarniaghat, Pilibhit, Dudhwa. 

“Officials usually like to think that ecotourism can be increased via resorts, big welcome gates, better tiling, concretisation and planting ornamental trees. This is not a sustainable approach and disturbs the ecological balance of the area. For ecotourism, it is essential to maintain the natural habitat and increase the native forest cover,” said Vikrant Tongad, environmentalist.

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