Kochi

Urban nature reserve and people’s biodiversity park mooted in Kochi

A proposal for creating a larger buffer area for the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary to restrict fresh construction activities in the region and promote free movement of birds has been mooted.

The proposal forms part of the Mangalavanam eco-restoration project and the development of an urban nature reserve component of the Marine Drive extension programme. A People’s Biodiversity Park will also come up as part of the green component of the development project, according to the proposal.

The project mooted by the Kerala Government seeks to develop the nearly 119 hectares available in the form of islands in between the landmass from Marine Drive to Vaduthala into an ecological conservation zone. The zone will also be developed into a mangrove forest area through afforestation. Ecotourism spots will also come up as part of the programme, says the project document.

An ecological conservation committee headed by an environmental expert will oversee the development and implementation of the eco-park. Scientists, environmentalists, environmental planners, and representatives of local communities will be members of the committee.

The owners of land in the project area, including Kerala State Housing Board, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Hindustan Unilever, Indian Railways and others, will also be part of the committee to create a model for the development of an ecological park. The committee shall examine developing a revenue stream to help in the upkeep and maintenance of the park besides generating revenue for the landholding agencies, it was suggested.

The project report has mooted revenue generation schemes through the selling of nature and ethnic theme-based hospitality products, birdwatching trails for visitors and collection of user charges for visiting the parks.

The biodiversity park will serve as a unique recreational space for the residents of the city. It can also be developed into a tourist destination. Besides sharing the revenue generated from the eco-park project, the landholders shall be compensated through alternative parcels of land, it was suggested.


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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 7:59:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/urban-nature-reserve-and-peoples-biodiversity-park-mooted-in-kochi/article37742109.ece

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