Traditionally, the Naga tribes had an intimate relationship with nature based on a foundation of the interconnectedness of God, people and nature. This is reflected in our rich folklore on the plants and animals of our forests. Yet the value of biodiversity often goes unrecognized and undervalued as forests are cleared, rivers drained, important habitats fragmented, cultural traditions and customs fractured, traditional knowledge forgotten and Naga societies homogenized. The enormous pressure on our wild and domesticated biota for subsistence, developmental and commercial needs along with a lack of knowledge of its actual and potential value has led to the loss of our unique ecosystems along with their floral & faunal diversity. We have forgotten that the planet’s health and our health is non separable. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 that has brought the entire world to its knees is a direct reminder that it is actually humanity’s destruction of biodiversity that creates the conditions for new viruses &diseases and can have significant human health impacts along with the economic impacts.
The Tizu Valley Biodiversity and Livelihood Network (TVBCLC), Zunheboto Nagaland which is a network of villages sharing their natural resources like forests, rivers and biodiversity realized long back that it had undergone considerable transformation in the landscape,its landuse and cropping patterns and its use of fishing methods and also understood the linkages between pandemics and biodiversity conservation. The result was that a notification was passed that puts a complete ban on hunting and fishing, felling of trees inorder to protects our area’s biodiversity.Today we are protecting our landscape jointly by declaring 939 hectares as Community Conservation Area (CCA) and banning hunting and destructive fishing across the remaining landscape of forests and rivers (total area being 3751 hectares).
On the account of World Environment Day, TVBLN appeals to the State Government, local NGO’s and all the citizens of Nagaland to revive traditional conservation practices and protectthe forests and wildlife through mobilization and building synergies.
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