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World's only Floating National Park

Keibul Lamjao National Park                                                                                  Photo: Khuraijam Jibankumar
The Keibul Lamjao National Park is a national park in the Bishnupur district of the state of Manipur in northeastern part of India. It covers an area of 40 km2(15.4 sq mi). Keibul Lamjao National is world's only floating national park and last natural habitat of Manipur Brow antlered deer - Sangai (Cervus eldi eldi). The national park is characterized by many floating decomposed plant materials locally called phumdis. To preserve the natural refuge of the endangered Manipur Eld's Deer or Brow-antlered Deer (Rucervus eldi eldi), or Sangai also called the Dancing Deer, listed as an endangered species by IUCN, the park which was initially declared as a Sanctuary in 1966, was subsequently declared as National Park in 1977 through a gazette notification. The act has generated local support and public awareness

Keibul Lamjao in History
The Brow-antlered deer, which was first discovered in Manipur in 1839 and named Rucervus eldi eldi in 1844 in honour of Lt. Percy Eld – a British officer, was reported an extinct species in 1951. It was re–discovered in the Keibul Lamjao area by the environmentalist and photographer E.P.Gee, which necessitated declaring this reserve park area as a national park to protect and conserve the deer now called Eld's Deer's subspecies Brow-antlered Deer (Rucervus eldi eldi) or Sangai in Manipuri language (to distinguish it from the other two sub species found in Burma and Thailand that are called Rucervus eldii thamin and Rucervus eldii siamensis and also in Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Hianan island). It has a pride of place in the folklore and culture of the Manipur state and is the national animal of the state. From a small herd of 14 deer in 1975, its population was reportedly 155 in 1995. 

The park is a swamp with floating mass of vegetation (called phumdis), at the south-eastern side of the Loktak Lake, which has been declared a Ramsar site. Two third's to three fourth’s of the total park area is formed by phumdis. The reserve area of the park which was 4,000 ha (9,884.2 acres) in March 1997 was reduced to 2,160 ha (5,337.5 acres) in April 1988, under pressure from the local villagers. The swamp encompasses three hills, namely, Pabot, Toya and Chingjao that provide a refuge for the large mammals during the monsoon season. The distinctive nature of the park is that it is “too deep to be marsh, too shallow to be a lake”.

About the campaign
The campaign will start in 2014 and will continue till the national park is declared World Heritage Site. 

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance. The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 states party which are elected by their General Assembly. The program catalogues, names, and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund. The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on November 16, 1972. Since then, 186 states party have ratified the convention. 

**World Heritage Site Selection Criteria [see here]
**World Heritage List Nomination process [see here]