VCs & GoN sign MoU
DIMAPUR, OCTOBER 3: In a significant development towards conservation of wildlife in Nagaland, 16 Village Councils around Intanki National Park on Tuesday resolved to protect the Intanki National Park and conserve the forests and wildlife for the greater cause of future generation.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Village Council Chairmen, Commissioner & Secretary, Department of Forest, Environment & Climate Change, Y Kikheto Sema and Chief Wildlife Warden, Nagaland, Ved Pal Singh during the occasion of the Wildlife Week Celebration-2023 basing on the theme “Partnership in Wildlife Conservation”
The Village Councils resolved to co-operate with the State Government and the Department in protection and conservation of Intanki National Park and its bio-diversity.
The VCs resolved to refrain from hunting/poaching and other destructive activities in the National Park and also agreed to make prohibitory orders in respective villages to ban hunting and other activities not permitted by law.
As per the MoU, the Village Councils further resolved to have partnership with the Department in its policies and programmes in the management of National Park and to share information of relevance willingly to either party.
It was agreed that the Department would put effort for the eco-developmental activities of the surrounding villages including livelihood improvement and other employment opportunities of the local youth in the form of trainings and other human resource development.
Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion of the Wildlife Week celebration, Commissioner & Secretary, Y Kikheto Sema said the main objective of the campaign was to promote the conservation and protection of animal life.
Dwelling on the theme, “Partnership for wildlife conservation”, he said it is for honouring the people who are making a difference, adding along with the rest of the States, Nagaland is celebrating the week creating awareness throughout the districts.
The Commissioner & Secretary thanked the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) for issuing direction to all Associations under NBCC for creating awareness of Wildlife week for protection and preservation. He also recalled the NBCC resolution at the 74th NBCC Annual Session at Rotomi village from February 4 to 6, 2011, where the Church undertook “resolutions” pertaining to “eco-biodiversity”.
He disclosed that the NBCC had reaffirmed a resolution adopted during the 72nd annual session of the NBCC held in Ahthibung in 2009 wherein it resolved that “Baptist churches will initiate Climate Change and Eco-Biological friendly actions, sensitize on conservation of forest and preservation of wild life and work closely with the community leaders and concerned departments for addressing the environment alarm”
The Council had also resolved on “abstaining from using jungle meats during NBCC and churches gatherings and discourage churches from offering wild animals during its thanksgiving service.”
Lamenting that wildlife and ecosystem is being destroyed in Nagaland, Kikheto said, “climate change is not barking any more but it is biting us now”.
However, he said there is still a ray of hope in Nagaland. He said many villagers, communities realising conservation of wildlife, about 134 community conserved area (CCA) donated their land for protection of wildlife.
Stating that Nagaland Government land is less than 5%, he called for support of communities, individuals to protect and preserve wildlife.
He also said Article 371 (A) is a sacred provision for the people of Nagaland but people must use it wisely and rightfully.
On the occasion, on behalf of the Department, he called upon the people to resolve to protect Intanki through partnership between community and the Government/Department.
He also appealed to all Nagas, particularly the neighbouring villages and communities to cooperate with the Government/Department.
He further said any encroachers, violators would be punished as per the provision of the law.
Kikheto further said that the Government’s vision is to convert Intanki National Park as eco-tourism spot, wildlife safari and to generate employment opportunity, uplift the economy of the neighbouring villages.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Wildlife Warden, Ved Pal Singh, who was guest of honour said that in Nagaland there is not much forest under the Government, as most land belongs to the individuals. He said Government forest land is only 3.5% and the rest are private properties.
He said due to this reason, they are trying to forge partnership with the public so that they can conserve the forests in the State. He said without the cooperation of the villages, it is not possible to conserve the forests.
He also expressed concerns at large scale sale of wildlife in the State and said unless the public cooperate, the Department cannot do anything.
Explaining the tangible benefits of wildlife, the Chief Wildlife Warden said 7.5% of the funds are given to the State, which have forest resources. He said Intanki is an unpolished diamond, adding its direct benefit is waiting to come alive.
He appealed to all the villages to have partnership with the Department to protect and save wildlife.
Field Director, Intanki, T Aochuba, IFS, in his welcome address, said Forest is the nodal Department but without the support of the stakeholders, the ultimate goal of conservation cannot be achieved.
Stressing on creating partnership for forest conservation, the Field Director said there is a need for wildlife and forest protection and asked how it can be done. He also said one does not know the benefits of petroleum/crude oil unless it is explored.
Talking about the recent study done on tiger, he said if tiger comes to Intanki National Park, lots of tourism activities would happen, besides there would be eco-tourism and lots of development.
Chairmen of three Village Council, President of Zeliangrong Baudi (AM&N), K Akhang and ADC Jalukie also spoke on the occasion.
(Page News Service)