A joint team of the ONGC and Unesco has carried out a preliminary survey for the conservation of Chilika Lake to help the country’s largest coastal lagoon secure the world heritage site tag, said an official on21 June 2017. With the objective to declare Chilika Lake as a Unesco World Heritage Site, both Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) will work. Unesco Chief Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
During their visit to the periphery areas of the lake, they interacted with various stakeholders in the village and local officials, were certain focal areas were identified to begin with, so that the efforts could finally lead to the declaration of Chilika Lake as a heritage site.They also met Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who appreciated the ONGC-Unesco efforts for the comprehensive development of the ecosystem of the lake, particularly the wetlands of Mangalajodi, which is intrinsically linked to the conservation of migratory and endemic birds.Shigeru Aoyagi assured that he would put in his best efforts to enable the declaration of Chilika Lake as an Unesco World Heritage Site. Comprehensive dossier with a detailed development plan of the ecosystem, including that of the inhabitants, by involving various central and state government ministries would be prepared.ONGC Director D.D. Misra said the company would carry out a comprehensive conservation and development plan in and around the lake area.