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
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
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
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.