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Community reserve forests can solve human-elephant conflict, say experts

By EMN Updated: Sep 17, 2019 12:56 am

Dimapur, Sep. 16 (EMN): Nagaland-based environmental organisation Green Succession of Nagaland State (Green-Sons) and the wildlife wing of Dimapur jointly organised a workshop on community reserve forests for protection and conservation of wildlife with special reference to human-elephant conflict and ‘mitigation process’ last month.

The media cell of Green-SONS informed on Sunday through a press release that the programme was held at Sanis town in Wokha district on August 22 under the theme “peaceful coexistence with the wild.” The event was attended by Mhathung Yanthan, advisor for Horticulture and Border Affairs.

Wildlife warden of Dimapur Tokaho Kinimi lamented that Wokha district has rich biodiversity with 80% forest cover but human-elephant conflicts have obstructed its land use. He added that the co-operation of the village communities to the department in establishing Community Reserve Forest by signing MOU with the department for five years will not help the people generate income but also help the department in protect and conserve the forest wealth.

The warden also emphasised on advance warning to avert human-elephant conflicts and that a proposal is already been sent to the Central ministry to “implement satellite tag collaring of elephant.”

Steve Odyuo, chairman of Natural Nagas, gave a research-based presentation and informed that two third elephant population of Nagaland is in Wokha district. He also shared his experiences in conserving Amur falcons in Doyang reservoir, which is called the “falcon capital of the world,” with the co-operation of the villagers.

Odyuo went on state that the supposedly extinct Black Soft Shelled Turtle in 2000 was rediscovered from Akuk village in Wokha district.

Zuthunglo Ezung, DFO, Wokha; Chonbenthung Ezung, Civil SDO, Wokha; Dr. Thungben Yanthan, chief veterinary officer, Wokha; and Remphamo Kikon, joint director of Agriculture also spoke at the event. They stressed on the need to institute community reserve forests and the possible uplift of the village community’s income by converging ecotourism and other livelihood programmes.

Yanthan called upon the people to take up serious measures to conserve the state’s biodiversity and to create healthy environment for all. He stated that instituting community reserve forests will not only help conserve the biodiversity but also has immense positive environmental impact right from controlling of soil erosion to retention of underground water to water circulation to purification of air.

He also emphasised on ecotourism, saying that it elevate the living standard of the rural population exponentially.

By EMN Updated: Sep 17, 2019 12:56:19 am