Dimapur, September 13: An awareness campaign for conservation of forest and wildlife to mitigate human elephant conflict and wildlife crime was organised by the Dimapur Wildlife Division, Nagaland Forest Department at Hajang Baptist Church (HBC) on September 11 with participation of 150 persons namely CM Chang, Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Parliamentary Affairs, Nagaland and Mhathung Yanthan, Advisor, Horticulture Department, Nagaland, Dr Manazir Jeelani Samoon, IAS, DC Wokha, Manojkumar, IPS, SP Wokha, officers from forest and other allied departments, and villagers of the 21 elephant affected villages of middle range Wokha District.
The Forest Minister stated that protection of forest and wildlife had been recognized long back in our Constitution and Directive Principles of the State Policy. He stated the Government of Nagaland had implemented the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, since 18th December 1981, considering the importance of forest & wildlife for our survival. He appealed to the people to protect elephants and come forward for declaring their land/forest for elephant based community reserve and avail benefits under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Mhathung Yanthan spoke about the current gravity of the elephant problem in most parts of Wokha District. He opined that the Department should domesticate/tame the wild elephants, if there are means, in order to minimize the conflict. He also advised the villagers under his constituencies to come up with elephant based community reserve at the earliest.
Satya Prakash Tripathi, IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden, Nagaland briefed on the genesis of human-elephant problems in Wokha District and highlighted the policies of the State Government and the Ministry of Environment, Forest (MoEF) & Climate Change, GoI, New Delhi for addressing the issue. He also shared about the existing sanctuaries and the lone National Park in Nagaland – Intanki National Park.
Tripathi also remarked that the government is concerned about this issue and remedial steps are also on the process to prevent the elephant menace. He appreciated the efforts put by the State Government in notifying all CCAs into Community Reserves and subsequent funding by the Ministry for the benefit of the department as well as the communities owning the CCAs.
Dr. Manazir Jeelani Samoon, IAS, DC Wokha lamented how people are responsible for destroying elephant historical corridors and are only to blame themselves for the current situation. In this regard he appealed all to come up with alternative ways to mitigate the problem.
Manojkumar, IPS, SP Wokha, in his brief speech highlighted the fundamental duties of every citizen as laid out by the Constitution of India, Article 51A (g) to protect and conserve flora and fauna. He also stated that since 2015, every district has a coordinated unit ready to tackle wildlife crime.
Demonstrations of elephant repellants and distribution of brochures (Lotha dialect) were made by the officials of the Wildlife Crime Control Unit, Dimapur. A pledge to promote conservation and preservation of forest and wildlife was also administered by Kikavi Chophi, Forest Range Officer.
(Page News Service)