Exposure tour to Khonoma conservation area to mark ‘Wildlife Week’
Dimapur, Oct. 9 (EMN): Commemorating the ‘Wildlife Week,’ Kohima Forest Division organised an exposure trip for Zhadima Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) to Khonoma village on October 8 on the theme ‘My CCA, My pride.’
An update from the Forest department informed that JFMC members were introduced to how Community Conservation Areas (CCA) has a huge impact on the mutual co-existence of humans and wildlife.
In his opening remarks, Rajkumar M, DFO Kohima, stated that the main purpose of the exposure was to learn the experiences of conservation initiatives taken up by the community. He informed that Nagaland has one of the highest number of Community Conservation areas in the country. He added that the efforts taken by communities for conservation was not just for the benefit of the village or district but the entire world since biodiversity is interlinked.
The DFO also briefed about ‘Project Future’ where innovative awareness projects are implemented by Kohima Forest Division. He emphasised that the youth of the villages should actively participate in conservation initiatives and take pride in their conservation areas.
Also speaking at the programme, Kezhaseria Meyase, chairman of Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary (Trust), informed that the conservation began on December 11, 1998, by some of the uncles from the village.
Khonoma village, being from a hunting and logging community for their sustenance, he mentioned about how they have taken a U-turn towards conserving the environment. He added that the idea towards conservation by some persons was responded with criticism for being idealists. He, however, added that the community has now begun to see the importance of conservation.
He explained that the conservation at Khonoma was effective because of the involvement of the community.
Mentioning that the community conservation areas are intact because of the community involvement, he expressed gratitude to his community, the executive committee of KNCTS (Trust) and to those individuals who initiated the conservation.
Keneivito Christopher Sophi, secretary of Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary (Trust), briefed about the history of the village and how the concept of conservation and preservation was initiated. He stated that the idea of conservation started in 1998 by the visionary village elders and how all the organisations in the village community are involved in conservation.
Sharing about the benefits of conservation, he said that tourist inflow has increased adding the biodiversity has increased. He also highlighted Alder tree-based Jhum cultivation in the village that serves as the alternate source for firewood resulting in keeping the other forests untouched and maintaining the ecosystem conservation in tune with nature.
V Mato Koso, RFO and FMU head of Chiephobozou range, affirmed that one should not destroy the habitat of wildlife but ensure survival. He thanked the Khonoma village community for sharing about the concept toward conservation in their areas.
Kedelizo, JFMC vice chairman of Zhadima, thanked the DFO for organising the exposure tour and expressed gratitude to the Khonoma village community for sharing their experiences and giving them wonderful insights about community led conservation efforts.