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�Heritage Site in Danger� tag looms large

By SANJOY RAY
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GUWAHATI, June 18 � The Manas National Park runs the risk of once again being declared a �World Heritage Site in Danger�.

With the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO raising serious concerns over the law-and-order situation in and around Manas, the Ministry of Forest and Environment is now in a tizzy.

The Manas National Park, after carrying the �World Heritage Site in Danger� title for nearly two decades, managed to retain the World Heritage Site status in 2011.

Following a translocation exercise which is still continuing, Manas now shelters 31 rhinos including 11 calves. Seven rhinos have been killed by poachers in Manas since 2011, most of the fatalities taking place last year.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests RP Agarwalla, when contacted, told The Assam Tribune that the UNESCO had sent a �draft decision� expressing concern, and the Government is trying to pursue the matter.

A delegation comprising officials from the Ministry and the Wildlife Institute of India is in touch with the UNESCO to pursue its case, he said.

The Manas National Park, along with the Kaziranga National Park, has witnessed a spurt in the poaching of the one-horned rhino in recent years.

Sources, meanwhile, said that if the delegation fails to convince the UNESCO, there are chances that Manas might be bracketed as a �World Heritage Site in Danger.�

A reactive and monitoring team of the UNESCO is likely to visit the State before the final decision, which would be taken at the next review meeting scheduled for next month.

Another senior official of the forest department said that the department has taken the draft decision very seriously and the matter is being discussed with experts.

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�Heritage Site in Danger� tag looms large

GUWAHATI, June 18 � The Manas National Park runs the risk of once again being declared a �World Heritage Site in Danger�.

With the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO raising serious concerns over the law-and-order situation in and around Manas, the Ministry of Forest and Environment is now in a tizzy.

The Manas National Park, after carrying the �World Heritage Site in Danger� title for nearly two decades, managed to retain the World Heritage Site status in 2011.

Following a translocation exercise which is still continuing, Manas now shelters 31 rhinos including 11 calves. Seven rhinos have been killed by poachers in Manas since 2011, most of the fatalities taking place last year.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests RP Agarwalla, when contacted, told The Assam Tribune that the UNESCO had sent a �draft decision� expressing concern, and the Government is trying to pursue the matter.

A delegation comprising officials from the Ministry and the Wildlife Institute of India is in touch with the UNESCO to pursue its case, he said.

The Manas National Park, along with the Kaziranga National Park, has witnessed a spurt in the poaching of the one-horned rhino in recent years.

Sources, meanwhile, said that if the delegation fails to convince the UNESCO, there are chances that Manas might be bracketed as a �World Heritage Site in Danger.�

A reactive and monitoring team of the UNESCO is likely to visit the State before the final decision, which would be taken at the next review meeting scheduled for next month.

Another senior official of the forest department said that the department has taken the draft decision very seriously and the matter is being discussed with experts.

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