Editorial

Nature’s protectors

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/14/2021 2:30:14 PM IST

 Villagers of Thanamir of the Yimkhiung tribe under Kiphire district have taken a very big step towards protection of flora and fauna in their area in a modern way through collaboration with a Delhi-based NGO called Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI). Thanamir village is located at the foothill of Mount Saramati, Nagaland’s highest mountain peak (3,842 meters above sea-level). The village collaborated with the WPSI to record rare animal species some of which were going extinct. In their effort to protect wildlife in their community forest, Thanamir villagers have found a host of rare and endangered wildlife in the forests in their own backyard. Many camera traps were set up that captured thousands of pictures showing the rich wildlife that inhabit Thanamir forests, and many of these animals are globally endangered. The local youth and leaders have taken a keen interest in protection of their forest and wildlife. The village council and student union have instituted various resolutions to curb over-hunting of wildlife and protect the forest. The joint research was conducted to strengthen these management systems through an evidence-based approach. The most encouraging development is that the surveys have documented over 23 animal species, including Indian muntjac, stump-tailed macaque, dhole, Asiatic back bear and the elusive clouded leopard. Besides these, State bird Blyth’s Tragopan was also photographed. The local community-based groups across Nagaland is a very promising aspect that will transform the state as among the few nature spots in the country. Across Nagaland, local communities are mobilising themselves to protect their forests, and the wildlife is now bouncing back in previously denuded and overhunted forests. There are currently over 400 community conserved areas across Nagaland – the highest in any State in the country. Several villages in Nagaland have woken up to the fact that the flora and fauna has all but vanished from the face of their world and issued ban on hunting, fishing and rampant jungle burning but in most cases, call has had little impact. Perhaps like a case of bolting the stable after the horses have fled, the bans may be described as an attempt in futility as they appear to be a case of bolting the stable after the horses have fled. Protection of the flora and fauna has been an issue since the eighties and a lot had been said and written on the issue. It is easier to issue ban orders against hunting and fishing but these will not serve the long term purpose. Bans cannot do wonders unless they are tackled on two fronts- enforcement and awareness. Like fishing, even on the issue of hunting, what is needed most is that the government machinery should take the initiative to take strong action against VVIPs who flout environmental concerns. While the rural folks are realising the value of their God-given natural bounty upon which generations depended, the urban elites are proving to be the insensitive and unresponsive lot who violate rules they frame. The need for greater awareness on preservation and conservation among the urban people, has not been given the attention it deserves. If all these measures were adopted and implemented then there would have been some significant progress in this direction.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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