New Delhi, March 3: Seeking to infuse love for biodiversity into the people and reduce man-animal conflict, a festival themed on elephants will be held in Delhi today to coincide with the UN World Wildlife Day.
The Centre for Environment Communication (CEC), Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre (JAC) Society have joined hands to organise the event.
The festival will play host to around 350 underprivileged children from various organisations who will participate in various activities, and give them an opportunity to understand and connect with the world of nature in an innovative manner.
CEC said the 'Elephant Festival' is aligned with the UN world wildlife day sub-theme - 'The Future of Elephants is in our Hands' as both the Asian and the African elephants are facing long-term challenges, including habitat loss and fragmentation, human-wildlife conflict and growing levels of poaching.
The environmental body said in India the elephant is in the list of endangered animals since its numbers have "significantly declined by 50 per cent over the past 50 or 60 years".
"One of the foremost causes of their deaths is habitat loss or its fragmentation and human hunting. Over the past few years, Indian elephants have been put to death in large numbers and one of the reasons for this is the commercial trading of ivory.
"Though slowly, the wild elephant population, according to government estimates, has risen to 29,391-30,711 (elephant census recorded in a range) in 2012 from 27,657-27,682 in 2007," it said.
An exciting mix of films, workshops, competitions, and informative and fun activities have been lined up for the children participating in the festival.
"Raising awareness on the crucial role the elephant plays in the ecosystem and how other wildlife depend on its presence and habits, showing elephant conservation solutions and ways to reduce man-animal conflict, while inculcating in children a love for the biodiversity will be the key focus of the festival," it said.
Alka Tomar, Founder-President CEC said,"The elephant festival is aligned with the conservation efforts of UN world wildlife 2016 theme - The Future of Wildlife is in our Hands. It is very important that this message be communicated well across sectors and strata to save our planet's dwindling biodiversity."