Andhra Pradesh

RCE-Tirupati to focus on Eastern Ghats

Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE Tirupati) Chairman Prof. Ramamurthy Rallapalli inspecting the green shelter belt that protected Sriharikota island (Nellore district) from the recent cyclone. Photo: Special Arrangement  

In a major boost to the sustainable development of the Eastern Ghats, with special focus on its fragile environment, the United Nations University has sanctioned a Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) to Tirupati.

The RCE-Tirupati will be part of the Foundation for Environmentally Sustainable Development with Focus on health, education, awareness and livelihoods, which will have Ramamurthi Rallapalli, formerly Vice-Chancellor of Sri Venkateswara University, as its Chairman. The project was cleared by Ubuntu Alliance of twelve agencies, including the UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations University and the World Conservation Union (WCU).

The region initially selected for operation is the stretch comprising Chittoor, Kadapa, Nellore and Prakasam districts. While the former two are strewn with mountains, valleys, forests, plaints with agricultural land, the coastal districts are known for farmland, wetlands, shrimp farms and islands, involving a total population of 13.2 million. In fact, out of the 127 RCEs spread across the globe, there are only five in India viz., the RCE-Srinagar, working on western Himalayas, the RCE-Guwahati on Eastern Himalayas, the RCE-Chandigarh on wetland ecosystems, the RCE-TERI (Goa) on Youth empowerment and energy and the RCE-Kodagu on traditional knowledge and tribal communities of Western Ghats. The RCE-Tirupati will work on a mix of features like Eastern Ghats, coastal communities, marine ecosystem and biodiversity.

“This RCE is special because of the influx of 50,000 people a day to Tirupati, the rich cultural diversity comprising artisans and artists, the presence of tribal communities, marine biodiversity prone to storm surges and tidal waves, the Ramsar lake of Pulicat and the presence of Tsunami-hit region,” Prof. Ramamurthi told The Hindu. The RCE-Tirupati might in future cater to the extended region of central and northern Andhra Pradesh, besides Odisha.

The centre aims at capacity building in target groups such as schools and colleges and creating awareness among the forest, tribal and coastal communities on the importance of bio-resources, their judicious use and conservation.

The idea is also to achieve institutional convergence and participatory intervention for management of ecosystem and watersheds, besides promoting the culture of transformative education in institutions. “This apart, we will focus on ecotourism by providing livelihood for forest fringe dwellers and marine coastal communities, making development and management sustainable,” he added.



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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 12:12:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/rcetirupati-to-focus-on-eastern-ghats/article7983642.ece

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