State wildlife officials visits community reserve forests

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Dimapur, April 16: Wildlife Wing, Nagaland Forest Department led by Satya Prakash Tripathi, PCCF (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden, Nagaland, K. Caroline Angami, IFS, Wildlife Warden, Dimapur along with frontline staff visited Community Reserve Forests at Tsiepama, Murakjo/Chemakong (Yizma, Lishiyo and Mongphio villages), D.Khel, Mezoma, Chishilimi, Tsuruhu, Khekiye, Lizutomi, Aizuto, Kigwema between March 13 to April 14. The team had meetings and interactions with the village councils, GBs, chairmen and members of Community Reserve Forest committee of all the villages.
Satya Prakash Tripathi, PCCF (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden spoke about the intrinsic relationship that forest, wildlife and human beings share and their interdependence on each other. He explained as to how forests are vitally important for preserving adequate water supplies, purifying the air, stabilizing the climate and enriching the soil.
Forests, he said, are a natural habitat for wild animals and that the diversity of life forms can be saved by securing their natural habitats. He also explained about the vast economic benefits of forests such as timbers, firewoods, edible fruits, medicinal plants etc.
In Nagaland, he said, only 11.7 % of forest wealth is under control of the Government, and the lion’s share (88.3%) of forest wealth is under control of individuals /communities, where the Government’s regulation is limited. Hence, communities have to play more roles in conservation and protection of wildlife as compared to the government, he said.
In Nagaland, the Government owned protected areas including Intanki National Park -202.20 sq.km, Puliebadze Wildlife Sanctuary – 9.23 sq.km, Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary – 6.40 sq.km and Singphan Wildlife Sanctuary – 23.57 sq.km, comprising at total of only 241.20 sq.km, which stands at a dismal 1.45% of the total geographical area of the State (16579 sq.km).
Dr. Inato Zhimomi of Tsuruhu Village under Satoi area informed that the initiative for conservation of wildlife started 15 years back without any aid from the Government. He assured of all cooperation to the department in days to come. Any financial aid from the department towards this conservation purposes, he said, will be utilized judiciously and that the people of Tsuruhu village, will sincerely endeavour towards making Tsuruhu Community Reserve Forest a model reserve forests of wildlife conservation.
Zhekuto Zhimo, retd DFO of Khekiye village apprised the department that before the village took up Community Reserve Forest Initiative, the village has a law in place prohibiting hunting of wildlife. He appealed the Wildlife Wing of the Forest Department to conduct awareness programmes about the importance of forest and wildlife and the various protections accorded to it under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, so that, people becomes aware about its importance and the consequences of its violation.
At Lizutomi village under Aghunato Sub-Division, K. Caroline Angami, IFS, Wildlife Warden, Dimapur highlighted the background of how the proposal of Community Reserve Forest was accepted. She solicited the support of the village communities for even more cooperation towards conservation of forests and wildlife.
All queries related to Community Reserve Forest Areas raised by the public were answered by the PCCF (wildlife) & CWLW, Nagaland, Dimapur.
(Page News Service)