WCS-India, NSBB and Nagaland Forest Department hold awareness campaign for conservation of forest and wildlife

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Posted in: From WCS-India

Nagaland Forest Department, Nagaland State Biodiversity Board (NSBB) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)-India jointly organized a three-day long awareness campaign for conservation of forest and wildlife between February 11 and February 13 across various districts in Nagaland. The event was aimed at mitigating human animal conflict and wildlife crime, conserving biodiversity, and advocating community framework to manage reserves and biodiversity.

Participants at the workshop.

The workshop stressed upon the importance of conservation, sustainable utilization and equitable distribution of biodiversity and its related benefits. Satya Prakash Tripathi, IFS, Nagaland (retired) and Chairman, State Biodiversity Board, described the importance of forest and wildlife and highlighted the legal position of community reserves and biodiversity management committees. He called upon the communities to come forward for the constitution of community reserves and biodiversity management committees.

“Human beings cannot survive without forest and wildlife. But forest and wildlife can survive without us,” said Satya.

Samriddha Ghosh, programme assistant, project management team, WCS-India, spoke about the conservation efforts by the organization and shared informative details on the status of biodiversity and its conservation in India. “The workshop was held to spread awareness on biodiversity conservation. We tried to educate the participants on various conservation-related issues like biodiversity threats, importance of conserving biodiversity, status of endangered animals in the state, to mention a few,” said Samriddha.

Participants from Forest Department, State Biodiversity Board and State Environment and Forest Training Institute attending the workshop.

Pradipty Bhardwaj, an environmental lawyer for WCS India, spoke to the participants about wildlife crimes and gave an overview of The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Bano Haralu, managing trustee of Nagaland Biodiversity and Conservation Trust, exhorted the participants to protect forest and wildlife like soldiers protecting our country. “The event instilled a sense of where and why such workshops are helpful and enabled participants to understand the roles that forest guards and rangers are expected to play,” said Bano.

Around 450 students, frontline staff from the Forest Department, State Biodiversity Board, State Environment and Forest Training Institute and forest fringe communities attended the three-day long workshop organized across various districts in Nagaland. Positive interaction and feedback between the participants and forest officials were also exchanged followed by a pledge to promote conservation and preservation of forest and wildlife in the State.

Thong, chairman, Sendenyu Biodiversity Committee, gave a brief history of the Sendenyu Community Conservation Reserve. Supongnukshi, IFS, CCF and member secretary, Nagaland State Biodiversity, deliberated on conservation, sustainable utilization and equitable distribution of biodiversity and its related benefits and spoke about constitution BMC and PBR in the state. The workshop was also attended by M. Obed Zeliang, IFS, DFO, Peren Division, Jalukie, Nagaland. He gave a brief background of the community conservation area in the district and emphasized on the need for conservation of natural resources for sustainable supply of resources for future generations.

Dr. Tinojongshi Chang, ADC, Jalukie, appealed to the communities and village councils to constitute committees in villages for protection of forest and wildlife. He highlighted an example of protecting a deer stag in Noksen village, 20 years back, which resulted in an increase in the population numbering around 200 at present. C.R Zeliang, president, Zeliangrong Baudi, emphasised on financial assistance from the government to the communities to ban burning which destroys a lot of biodiversity. Major Amit Pathak from Assam Rifles, Ahthibung/Jalukie spoke on the importance of conservation of natural resources.

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