Himachal park may not get Unesco tag

The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Himachal Pradesh may not get the coveted tag of a World Heritage Natural Site with Unesco’s advisory body, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), recommending a deferral.

Park director Ajay Srivastav said on Monday that IUCN’s dossier to the Unesco’s World Heritage Committee, which is meeting in Cambodia from June 16 to decide on the new world cultural and natural heritage sites, has favoured deferment of GHNP's nomination to the final list.

“It is for the World Heritage Committee to take a final call as IUCN has only given its recommendations. We are still hopeful,” Srivastav added.

According to Unesco’s official website, IUCN has deferred “the examination of the nomination of the GHNP to allow the state to finalise the addition of Tirthan and Sainj wildlife sanctuaries (adjoining the GHNP) to the nominated property to create a single area.”

The committee has said the state “has to continue to resolve rights-based issues with respect to local communities and indigenous peoples in the site.”

Officials of the state wildlife wing said while granting the World Heritage Natural Site status to the Western Ghats in 2012, IUCN had recommended to the World Heritage Committee to defer the consideration. “The Indian delegation will apprise the members of the 21-nation World Heritage Committee in Cambodia about claims of the GHNP for the heritage status,” an official said.

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