Periyar’s tigerish work inspires other reserves

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Impressed by the way the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Thekkady is carrying out various
conservation and participatory management activities involving local people, organisations from outside Kerala are curious to learn from its experiences. PTR recently won the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) award for the best-maintained tiger reserve in the country.
Sources from the reserve say that the response has been overwhelming after this recognition.

The Godavari Founda-tion from Andhra Pradesh has evinced interest in the way eco-development and tourism activities are carried out in PTR. Their team will soon visit the reserve to learn how this is being done.

An initiative of the Andhra Pradesh forest department under the supervision of the Union ministry of environment and forests, the new programme is aimed at conserving the eco-system in AP’s East Godavari district.

The programme is aimed at protecting the rich biodiversity of the district from industrial pollution and oil spills. UNDP has contributed $6 million to the programme.

“We are receiving intimations from various parties who evinced curiosity to learn from our way of implementing things here. After the UNDP recognition, people in charge of various activities internationally and even with the United Nations have responded to us,” officials at PTR said. The state wildlife department is planning to hold an inter-departmental workshop to highlight the success of the programmes being carried out in PTR.

Periyar Tiger Reserve covers 925 sq km and has managed to get local and tribal people involved in its activities.

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