2nd National Chilika Bird Festival begins

Bhubaneswar: The 2nd National Chilika Bird Festival kick started at Mangalajodi with the aim to promote Ecotourism and preservation of birds in the state.

The two-day festival includes photo exhibitions, seminars and visit to Nalabana Island. 

Odisha Tourism and Culture Minister inugurated the photo exhibition in the presence of Prasanna Kumar Patasani, MP-Bhubaneswar, Rajendra Kumar Sahoo, MLA Khurda, Nirmal Chandra Mishra, Collector and District Magistrate, Khurda and R P Singh, Director, Odisha Tourism. 

The event began with the commencement speech by Vishal K. Dev, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Odisha Tourism. 

Dev said, “We are glad to have everyone here at the festival. We want to promote and raise awareness about Chilika being the largest repository of migratory birds in Asia. Our focus is to make Odisha as one of the hotspots for Ecotourism. We plan to make this event bigger and better in future.”

Suresh Mohapatra, Additional Chief Secretary, Forest and Environment said, “We are extremely happy to have participants from all over the country. This year we have around 1 million migratory birds present in Chilika. We are recognising the efforts by the locals in preserving Chilika Lake and want to empower them by helping them with livelihood in form of sustainable tourism.”

“Every participant of the Chilika National Bird Festival is an ambassador for this place and we hope the message spreads,” he added.

On this occasion, Chilika Development Authority also released its book ‘Fish and Shellfish Diversity and it’s Sustainable Management in Chilika Lake.’

Around 145 bird watchers from all over India are in attendance for the event. 

The National Chilika Bird Festival Award was awarded to Mangalajodi Ecotourism Group for their active involvement in bird protection.

This year Chilika received record number of birds footfall as a result of removal of illegal gheries from the lake by the Forest department. 

The event is jointly organised by Odisha Tourism, Forest and Environment Department and Chilika Development Authority.

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