Region’s premier biodiversity conservation and research organisation, Aaranyak as part of its continuous endeavour to sensitize and create synergy across spectrum for forces and grassroots people, conducted a sensitization programme on “Biodiversity Conservation and Combating Wildlife Crimes” for Forest and Police Personnel of Nagaland today at the
Conference Hall of Forest Offices Complex in Kohima in collaboration with Nagaland State Biodiversity Board (NSBB) and with support from US Fish and Wildlife Service.
North East India region because of its richness in biodiversity remains in focus of the global clandestine cartel of wildlife traders as well as criminals that instigates poaching of wildlife as well as bio-piracy of floral resources.
One of the most notorious route through with the illegal trade in wildlife parts and products thrives through the Indian state of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Myanmar. The reality requires the enforcement agencies deployed across the region including forest and wildlife personnel, state police forces, border guarding forces to remain on high alert and highly sensitized about prevention of wildlife crime and illegal trade in wildlife. For the purpose, an efficient synergy has to be in vogue amongst all the forces in this vulnerable region.
Satya Prakash Tripathi, Chairman of Nagaland State Biodiversity Board (NSBB) and a retired PCCF & Chief Wildlife Warden and HoFF, Nagaland, gave an outline on the status and trend of wildlife crimes in Nagaland. He underlined the need for creating on awareness for biodiversity conservation among the masses on combating wildlife crimes and preservation of biodiversity. “As about 80 per cent of Nagaland’s forest area is under private or community holding, the people must be made to understand the need for protection of wildlife and provisions of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
In a recorded message, Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, Secretary General and CEO, Aaranyak spoke on the importance of creating a strong information sharing system and how it is crucial in order to build a strong network to curb wildlife crime: a crime that is the fourth largest in the world.
Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF), M Senthil Kumar said the forest department had been making sustained efforts for efficient implementation of Wildlife (Protection) Act in Nagaland even though people in general here culturally consider hunting a way of life.
Conservator of Forest, K Hukato Chishi commented that though hunting had been a way of life among Naga people today over 60 percent of the population support conservation of wildlife.
Addressing the workshop which was well attended by senior forest and Nagaland Police officials, the SP, Kohima, Kevithuto Sophie underlined that mass people in Nagaland who understand the preciousness of nature, must be made a part of the effort to prevent wildlife crime. He also candidly said that the State Forest Department must find a way to regulate haphazard stone quarrying and extraction of boulders from river beds which have spelt doom for state’s biodiversity. He further said the privileged people in the state must become more sensitive for conservation of biodiversity.
A Consultant in Aaranyak, B S Bora flagged Aaranyak’s unrelenting efforts for creating synergy among all the forces of the society- starting from the enforcement to the non-enforcement sectors to protect our bio resources in the biodiversity hotspot of northeast India.
During Technical Sessions, Ms. Savinuo, Kikhi, FRO, NSBB, made a power presentation on the Biodiversity Act, 1972 and the Biodiversity Rules, 2012. She highlighted importance of biodiversity in our life.
Dr. Jimmy Borah, Senior Manager, Aaranyak made a power point presentation on “Overview of Wildlife Crimes focusing on rhino and tigers at global and regional level” and elaborated on why wildlife is traded and the global and regional mandates and laws which can be enforced in order to combat it.
Ms. Ivy Farheen Hussain, Project Officer, Aaranyak made a power point presentation on “Wildlife Crimes on high value species at local level” and the modus operandi of common wildlife crimes in the region. She also spoke on Aaranyak’s DETERS Initiative and the role of stakeholders in combating wildlife crime. The resource persons made a power point presentation on “Identification and Understanding commonly used wildlife products in the region”
The following points emerged during the evaluation of sensitization programme- Continuity of such sensitization programme in future for Forest and Police personnel; necessity of sustained awareness campaign for conservation of forest, wildlife and biodiversity at grass-root level and facilitating synergy amongst Nagaland Forest Department, Nagaland Police , NSBB, WCCB, MOEF&CC, GoI, Aaranyak and other agencies for creating awareness among public for
conservation of wildlife and biodiversity conservation as well as combating wildlife crime.