Dimapur, March 2: Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, CM Chang has called upon the people of Nagaland to join hands with the Forest Department in saving water bodies and rich wildlife of the State.
In a message on the eve of the World Wildlife Day 2019, the Minister also appealed to the citizens of the State to come forward to declare their land, solely for the purpose of wild animals and their habitats in order to ensure availability of resources for future generation on sustained basis.
The World Wildlife Day is celebrated globally on March 3 every year commemorating the day of signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) by world leaders. The theme of the World Wildlife Day 2019 is “Life Below Water: For People and Planet.”
CM Chang said our forefathers were hunters in the past, but now people are coming forward for protection and conservation of forest and wildlife. The latest example, he said, is protection of Amur Falcons by the people and the State has been recognized as the Falcons’ capital of the world.
He informed that the Government of Nagaland had been implementing the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 since 18th December 2018, by looking into the importance of forest and wildlife in our life.
Stating that water and wetlands play an important role for the rural poor as they affect their health, livelihood and economy, the Minister said there are 421 wetlands, spread over 21554 hectare in the State of Nagaland. He lamented that these wetlands are degraded, polluted due to biotic factors namely; siltation, catchment erosion, discharge of domestic sewage and effluents, etc. which result in deterioration of water quality and prolific weed growth, decline in biodiversity and other associative problems.
“There is a need of conservation of water bodies,” he stated.
Pointing out that the scenario of forest and wildlife is completely different in Nagaland, as compared to other parts of our country, he said in Nagaland, the lion’s share of forest wealth (88.3%) is owned by individuals and communities whereas in other parts of the country, most of forests are owned by the Government. Thus, the people of the State are more responsible for protection and conservation of forest and wildlife as compared to the Government, he said.
He said the Government of Nagaland has notified 57 numbers of community reserves and good numbers of proposals for notification of community conservation areas (CCAs) into community reserves are under process with the Government. Nagaland is the only State in the country; where extent of privately/community owned protected areas (354.6057 Sq.Km) is more than the Government owned protected areas (241.2 Sq.Km), he revealed. (Page News Service)