Members of village development councils from Kheroni and Dhansiri areas under Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council (KAADC) were sensitised on the important role they could play in prevention of wildlife crime in two well-attended back-to-back workshops organised at Kheroni and Dhansiri.
The workshops were held under the aegis of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) in collaboration with Aaranyak premier research-based biodiversity conservation organisation having its headquarter here.
The workshops were carried out at Kheroni and Dhansiri on April 24 and 25 with a combined attendance of more than 200 participants including gaon burahs, town committee members, local villagers and school students besides police and forest department staffs.
Special PCCF of KAADC, S S Rao who attended Kheroni workshop, underscored importance of village development council members in sharing relevant information on wildlife crime. He appreciated both WCCB and Aaranyak for conducting such an enlightening workshop in such interior places, where wildlife crime and trade of wildlife overlap and go undetected.
Divisional Forest Officers (DFO) and Forest Range Officers of respective divisions coordinated and provided all logistics support for holding these workshops.
Resource team from WCCB comprising Jawaharlal Baro, Assistant Director and Nabajit Barman, Operational Assistant discussed about the relevance of wildlife protection laws and role of village councils to prevent the same.
Aaranyak’s resource team comprising Dr Jimmy Borah, Senior Manager and Ivy Farheen Hussain, Project Officer highlighted the importance of Karbi Anglong landscape and wildlife crime scenario with a local perspective, respectively.
Biodiversity Board chairperson, Pranab Nunisa who attended Dhansiri workshop, mentioned about the need to provide livelihood options to local communities so that they do not engage in wildlife crimes.
All the resources persons flagged that areas under KAADC like Dhansiri which are located along the Assam-Nagaland boundary, witness lots of instances of wildlife crime happening because of inadequate monitoring of inter-state movements of wildlife criminals. Here awareness on wildlife crimes among the local communities plays a vital role in keeping those under check. As illegal wildlife trade occurs due to demands of product from other areas, information sharing by local communities when they become aware of the problem, can deter such incidences.