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Blackbuck, turtle protection programme begin

Berhampur: Protection of the endangered blackbuck and Olive Ridley turtles by involving the local people in Ganjam district, is likely to get a boost as a joint project of the Centre and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was launched here today.

Rajya Sabha member Renubala Prdhan in presence of senior wildlife and forest officials inaugurated here a workshop to mark the inception of the project.

UNDP initiated community-based conservation (CBC) of natural resources out side protected areas on pilot basis in the state. Besides Orissa, the UN body has also taken up similar projects on pilot basis in Madhya Pradesh.

Under the project, the state will get around Rs 50 lakh this year for improvement of the habitats of the animals and development of the infrastructure facilities in surrounding villages, where the people actively involved in protecting them.

The state government has submitted a proposal of Rs one crore to the UNDP for implementation of the pilot project in Ganjam, where the local people have been protecting the blackbuck and Olive Ridley sea turtles for last several years.

"The venture is on a pilot basis and is likely to be continued further depending upon the success of the project," principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) P N Padhy said.

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