Villagers sensitised on wildlife crime

Kohima, December 10 (MExN): A sensitisation programme on wildlife crime was jointly organised by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India and Nagaland Forest Department at Khonoma village in Kohima district on December 7.

Around 80 people comprising officials of WCCB, MoEF&CC, Nagaland Forest Department, NGOs, Chairmen/Members of village councils of Khonoma and neighbouring villages participated in the programme, which began with invocation prayer by Tsile Sukhorie, Advisor, Khonoma Blyth Tragopan Conservation Trust.

Satya Prakash Tripathi, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden, Nagaland gave a brief background of the sensitisation programme. He also highlighted the constraints before the Forest Department in addressing the forestry and wildlife issues of the State.

A press release from the PCCF & Chief Wildlife Warden, Nagaland informed that Neisamezo Pier, Chairman, Village Council, Khonoma gave a brief background on how the village stopped hunting wild animals by imposing fine of Rs. 3000/- on those found hunting wild animals and birds within their jurisdiction and also created awareness among people on importance of wildlife and forests in their life for survival.

He also informed about how Khonoma village became the greenest and cleanest village of the country. The village has Blyth Tragopan Sanctuary and is protecting and maintaining it on the same pattern of the Government owned protected areas. Informing that the population of wild animals has significantly damaged the crops of the people of the village, he requested the intervention of the Forest Department in addressing the issue.

Tilotma Varma, Additional Director and Country Head, WCCB, MoEF &CC, Government of India, chief guest of the programme, appreciated the initiatives and efforts of the Khonoma Village Council in conservation of wildlife. She was very happy to observe the wildlife conservation work, supposed to be done by the Government, being carried out by the village.

She appealed to the Nagaland Forest Department to replicate the wildlife conservation work of Khonoma village in different villages of the State. Stating that the matter will be taken up with the Ministry, she assured to try to extend technical and financial assistance from the Government of India in this endeavour.

According to the release, there was very good discussion of the officials with village council members and the Chief Wildlife warden clarified all the points raised by the participants. He also assured that the Forest Department will prepare Detailed Project Proposal for declaring Khonoma Blyth Tragopan Sanctuary as a Community Reserve by the State Government of Nagaland and possible funding by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India, New Delhi.

Folk songs/ dance were presented by the villagers.

The programme was chaired by Supongnukshi Jamir, Chief Conservator of Forests (Environment, Biodiversity and Research)), Government of Nagaland, vote of thanks was proposed by Agni Mitra, IFS, Regional Deputy Director, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Eastern Region, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India, Kolkata.

Dated: 11 Dec 2017