Lemsachenlok: Role of community in preserving biodiversity

Lemsachenlok: Role of community in preserving biodiversity
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, NOV 10 (NPN) | Publish Date: 11/10/2019 12:08:11 PM IST

Three villages under Longleng district- Yaongyimchen, Alayong and Sanglu- have shown the way on how to become catalysts for preserving and protecting the biodiversity without any government assistance through self initiatives to promote sustainability.

The three villages have formed the Yaongyimchen Community Biodiversity Conservation Area (YCBCA), maintained by a committee under the aegis of Lemsachenlok organisation. The concept, spearheaded and initiated by churchman Nuklu Phom, has brought tremendous progress in sustainable bio-diversity in the area which has also become the largest roosting area for Amur Falcons. After several years of deliberation among the village councils at the initiative of Nuklu, the villagers decided to start YCBCA. They not only decided to sacrifice their jhum lands but resolved to transform around ten square km of a community-owned forest into a wildlife preserve.

The area is now a safe haven for 85 species of birds, including Amur falcons, 15 species of frogs, as well as leopards, barking deer, serows and otters etc. The area has become one of the major roosting site for Amur Falcons in the state.

In recognition of their work at YCBCA, Lemsachenlok organization bagged the coveted India Biodiversity Award 2018 for conservation of wild species, initiated by government of India and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Speaking to Nagaland Post, Team leader of Lemsachenlok, Nuklu Phom, said the YCBCA area was earlier used as a Jhum fields. Previously, a Jhum cycle would be about 15 years but now the cycle has been reduced to six to seven year cycle since the areas have been transformed for biodiversity conservation. 

While lauding the sacrifice made by the villagers, Nuklu however lamented about the alternative livelihood options for the villagers. To this, he said the role and support of the government was crucial. 

Nuklu, who has been actively involved with the Wildlife Institute of India in keeping track of the Amur falcons, informed that of the nine amur falcons that were tagged in Nagaland, the only active satellite tagged amur falcon “Longleng” has reached India and was currently roosting in Meghalaya. Longleng, who was satellite tagged in 2016, started on its migration from Somalia to India on April 29.

In this regard, Lemsachnelok organization would be holding a ‘Thanksgiving program’ of the historic third round trip of ‘Longleng’ on November 12 at Yaongyimchen public ground. On the occasion several community projects like the biodiversity view tower at Nemba and Yaongyimchen community health centre new building will be inaugurated.

Nuklu said “biodiversity is the pillar that allows ecosystems to function and humans to thrive. Without biodiversity in an ecosystem we would not have the many plants and animals we find in our world today, including us”. He said that Biodiversity is the “biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals.”

This includes the number of different species and genetic variation within the same species. The different plants and animals in an environment work together to maintain balance in the ecosystem. These interactions create functioning systems that provide food, medicine, and new technologies for people.

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