North East Network in partnership with Ewulu Biodiversity Conservation and Great Hill Barbet Sanctuary (EBCGS), Enhulumi village organized a one-day seminar on strengthening community initiative in conservation at NEN Resource Centre, Chizami on November 13.
Around 100 participants from villages of Chizami, Enhulumi, Thetsumi, Sumi, Mesulumi under Pfutsero block Phek district attended the seminar which was supported by the divisional forest office Phek.
Speaking at the inaugural session, K. Hocto Sema, IFS, Conservator of Forest, Southern Territorial Circle, Nagaland congratulated the conservation initiative of Enhulumi village council.
While comparing the village council with that of a mini supreme court, he encouraged the village leaders to strengthen the village laws by strictly enforcing it.
Bringing to light that “Nagas have over exercised the freedom of using natural resources and have forgotten the responsibility of nurturing them, which God has assigned us with,” he lamented that humans have become the most destructive and dangerous beings.
While disclosing on the lack of proper data, and that the sate government was working on a proposal related to afforestation, which has a component on community biodiversity initiative; he assured that the government would support such conservation initiative in every possible way.
Seeing this, he pointed out that the project would be successful only when neighbouring villages’ support and join hands in the initiative.
K. Shohe, DFO Phek also addressed the participants.
Dr. Neizo Puro, Assistant Professor, Centre for Biodiversity Studies, Nagaland University facilitated the two sessions on conservation and livelihood and conservation strategies.
Tracing the changing paradigm in conservation, he pointed out the shift from species oriented conservation to eco-system conservation. He deliberated on the importance of conservation of eco systems and sustainable use of natural resources while presenting on the ecological profile of Nagaland.
He strongly asserted that livelihood alternative had to be put in place to make conservation successful.
Citing some examples of bio -piracy, he called upon the participants to document traditional knowledge and take control over their own biodiversity.
According to North East Network, Seno Tsuhah the participants of the seminar came up with a list of recommendations to make an appeal to Ezikerhiwu Wildlife Preservation Committee (Initiative of 7 villages started in 1991) to strengthen and reaffirm their commitment and mission, to constitute biodiversity management board in all villages, to document indigenous traditional knowledge. All women societies of five villages decided to establish seed banks to protect and promote traditional seeds and to reinforce ban on extraction of herbal medicines for commercial purpose.
Other highlights of the day included sharing of experiences by EBCGS and mimicry of local birds.
Special recognition and appreciation was given to Pokronyi from Enhulumi village, a young hunter who had earlier hunted around 40 wild boars, hundreds of different birds and animals and had given up hunting.
Pokronyi now actively participates in the EBCGS conservation initiative.