The Eco-Guide program will provide training as well as livelihood to unemployed youth

The Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Department is working on a concept of ‘conservation through coordination’. In this program, the department is taking people on board -- usually those who are living within the peripheries of wildlife areas.

This program is known as Eco-Guide program and would be providing training as well as livelihood to the unemployed youth of the Union Territory (UT), officials of the department said on World Wildlife Day on Thursday.

One such training program on the same lines would be concluding in Jammu on Friday, in which 20 youth, mostly 10+2 passed, have been trained to act as Eco-Guides.

During the training, the participants get a chance to visit various Wildlife areas and have hands-on sessions on various aspects of bird watching, animal sightings, plant identification and their depiction. The Eco-Guides would then pass the same information to the visitors.

Also in focus during training would be honing the communication skills of participants.

“We are celebrating the Wildlife Day but we have taken people on board," said Altaf Hussain, Wildlife warden Central Kashmir Division, on Thursday.

He also said that the training program is the first of its kind initiative taken by the Department of Wildlife Protection for promotion of Eco-Tourism in wildlife areas.

On this occasion, Kashmir wildlife department also organized various programmes and events across all the divisions of Jammu and Kashmir.

The main focus of the department is to encourage people to realise their importance in the ecosystem and for which the various global initiatives are taken to spread awareness.

Through the initiative of saving the Hangul, an indigenous endangered Kashmiri stag, there has been an increase in their population. Hussain said that the department recently sighted a big herd of Hangul, adding it was good that Dachigam National Park was the only habitat to this endangered species.

On the occasion of World Wildlife Day, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha took to Twitter and wrote, “On the occasion of World Wildlife Day, let us renew our resolve to prioritise, promote & institutionalise wildlife conservation. We need to safeguard wildlife habitats, protection of endangered species and livelihoods of communities dependent on forest resources".