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Contact: Public Affairs Office, (865) 436-1207
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a World Heritage Fellow, Anoop K.R., Director of Keoladeo National Park in India and Deputy Conservator of Forests in the Bharatpur District of Rajasthan.
As a recognized World Heritage Site, the Smokies is participating in this fellowship program which allows professionals from other heritage sites a unique opportunity to temporarily reside in this country and work alongside land managers to learn from our experiences and exchange ideas. Anoop will be in the Smokies for six weeks working throughout the park, primarily with the Resource Management and Science Division.
"We are honored to welcome a fellow World Heritage Site manager to the Smokies," says Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. "Anoop has immersed himself in park resource issues learning how we manage this complex area, and likewise, our staff has benefited from the experiences Anoop has shared with us."
There are nearly 900 designated World Heritage Sites including natural areas such as the Smokies and the Grand Canyon as well as cultural sites such as the Pyramids of Egypt and the Taj Mahal. The international community recognizes the need to preserve these unique sites based on their universal value. While all selected site managers pledge to protect sites for future generations, each participating nation maintains independent authority over site management.
"Great Smoky Mountains shares the similar history as many of the national parks in India as it has been recovered from heavy exploitation to become a treasure of biodiversity. It is probably the best place to learn about how a park has been created, maintained, and secured for the benefit of all," says Anoop.
Anoop will spend a week in Washington, DC with National Park Service leaders before returning to India. The travel expenses for the fellowship program are supported by the National Park Foundation.
For more information about World Heritages Sites and the National Park Service, please visit http://www.nps.gov/oia/topics/worldheritage/worldheritage.htm.