CHINAR educates public on mountain ecosystems


Mountain Partnership (MP) member the Central Himalayan Institute for Nature & Applied Research (CHINAR) recently began coordinating two new programmes in the Indian Himalaya to connect people with nature.

CHINAR initiated a basic birdwatching course for all ages in Nainital, Uttarakhand. The course lasted one week, and provided participants with knowledge about bird species identification, bird habitats and the importance of avi-fauna. At the completion of the week-long training, CHINAR provided the participants with certificates. The birdwatching course was well-received, and participants have expressed interest in attending more advanced trainings in the future.

The organization’s new Nature Connect Programme combines education about mountain ecosystems with a recreational hiking trip. These weekend expeditions teach the public about a variety of mountain subjects, including biodiversity, watershed management, climate change, agriculture and wildlife.

Tanuj Shah, a previous participant of the Nature Connect Programme, said, “This is a fantastic way of connecting people with nature. It is a practical way of giving information, getting people closer to mother nature. When you are in the forest, once we walk and see you realize it's time to give back to nature also. I learnt scientific names. Sunday was well spent and it’s a good investment on yourself.”

CHINAR plans to continue investing in educating people about the local mountain environment. They intend to organize weekday expeditions which include education about the ecological and cultural heritage of Himalayan villages. In addition to day and weekend trips, the group hopes to provide long-term environmental education programmes in the near future.

News and photo by CHINAR

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