Bhubaneswar: Odisha is the first state in the country to prepare State Climate Change Action Plan, the  Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, told the international delegates who are now in the state as part of their international training programme on ‘Environment Audit’ being conducted under the aegis of Comptroller & Auditor General of India(CAG)

Progress of activities under 12 identified sectors of the Climate Change Action Plan has been evaluated and the second phase of the Plan is under finalisation, he told the visiting delegates.

Stating that the state is promoting sustainable eco-tourism, the chief minister said the forest cover in the state has increased from 31.36% of the geographical area in 2001 to 32.98% in 2017. The forest area in the state has been measured at over 51,000 sq. km.

Chilika is one of the important hot spot of biodiversity and it shelters a wide variety of species including Irrawady Dolphin and a number of bird species. The lagoon is an avian grandeur and winter ground of more than  one million migratory birds  and is a Ramsar site. Chilika Development Authority is carrying out the most appropriate restoration measure to save the unique wetland of international importance.

The mass nesting of the migratory Olive ridley has increased many fold due to proper management of coastal ecosystem.

An international delegation comprising of 37 delegates from 29 countries  met the chief minister, here on Tuesday. The state chief secretary, AP Padhi, development commissioner R Balakrishnan, and forest and environment additional chief secretary, Suresh Mohapatra were present.