30th Apr 2017 09:04:AM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Expressing concern over the state of the Namdapha Tiger Reserve, CM Pema Khandu had directed authorities to make local residents in buffer zones and fringe areas partners by providing them with opportunities to take up economically viable projects. He couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Conservationists are of the view that conservation efforts are futile without the support of local communities and now emphasis is being laid on creating awareness vis-a-vis all out conservation only. An inspiring example can be seen in Nagaland, where community support is bringing positive results to conservation efforts to save thousands of migratory Amur Falcons. 

Wildlife Conservation efforts face severe impediments in a place like Arunachal, where majority of people still depend on forest resources for sustenance. Practices such as Jhumming and indiscriminate hunting have put serious strain on the flora and fauna- responsible for bringing acclaim to the state as a Bio-Diversity hotspot.

Renowned for its rich plant and animal species, Arunachal is under scanner not just by the governments at the state and the Centre but also by nature-loving organizations and individuals.

Setting an example the 7th century Lhagyala in West Kameng among the oldest monasteries in Arunachal Pradesh, which owns large swathes of a forest declared its forest as protected zone for red pandas a few days ago.

More than 20 Monpa villages, authorised the monastery to mark the 85 sq km Mon-Lhagyala Community Conservation Area as a biodiversity conservation zone. This is what is needed at a time when the state’s prized bio-diversity is under much duress.

Wildlife conservation has been mired in its own complexities and challenges with peripheral communities often under the scanner for de-railing such projects. On a closer look the uncooperative attitude of the peripheral communities is also not wrong. These reserves are coming up right at the heart of which was once considered community land—providers of all the basic requirements for locals. Ignorant to conservation efforts, they simply hold on to the knowledge of loss of precious land rich in plant and animal cover. Often the real or perceived high-handedness or stance of forest officials also tends to create more stand-off.

Therefore, the state forest department must also introspect to zero in on probable loopholes or communication breaks and to present a amiable facade. Point to be noted here is that despite communities dependent on forests for survival are incurring high losses; the positive attitude towards Protected Areas validates the point that local residents may support conservation if their livelihood needs are met.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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