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ONGC joins hands with UNESCO for conferment of global recognition to Chilika Lake

Announcing its decision to be a partner in the project for conservation of rich biodiversity and eco- system in Chilika Lake, the centre-run Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) joined hands with UNESCO for conferment of world heritage site to country’s largest brackish water lagoon

This was announced in a press conference attended by Shigeru Aoyagi, Director – UNESCO for India, Bhutan, Maldives & Sri Lanka and D. D. Misra, Director (Human Resources), ONGC.

With the objective to declare Chilika Lake as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ONGC has taken up this ambitious project. A preliminary survey was done by the joint-team of ONGC and UNESCO comprising of Shigeru Aoyagi, Director, UNESCO and D. D. Misra, Director (Human Resources), ONGC. The team was accompanied by Ms. Panchami Manoo Ukil, Founder, Bhubaneshwar Bird Walks, who visited Mangalajodi wetlands and surrounding villages on June 16 to have first hand understanding of the conservation issues of the area. Officials and representatives from Local Administration, Block Development Officer and Sarpanch also accompanied the visiting team.

As a result of interaction with various stakeholders in the village and local officials, focal areas were identified to begin with so that the efforts may finally lead to declaration of Chilika Lake as UNESCO’s world heritage site. To begin with, various CSR activities are proposed to be taken by ONGC in Mangalajodi Village.

The comprehensive development of the eco-system of Chilika Lake, in particular, the wetlands of Mangalajodi, which is intrinsically, intertwined with the conservation of migratory and endemic birds stays on the ONGC’s agenda to facilitate global recognition to the nature’s treasure-trove.   

A Comprehensive Dossier containing comprehensive development plan of the ecosystem including that of the inhabitants shall be prepared and will be placed before the world body, said officials.

It’s pertinent to note here that the Chilika lake has also come under the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)’s scanner with the premier zoological research body undertaking a study on the status of terrestrial and aquatic species inhabiting in the internationally-acclaimed Ramsar wetland site.

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