Post Mortem

Speech of CM Chang on WWD 2019

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 3/2/2019 12:18:36 PM IST

 On the auspicious occasion of the World Wildlife Day (WWD) 3rd March 2019, I sincerely congratulate the people of the State for conservation and protection of forest and wildlife. The celebration of the World Wildlife Day is done globally on the 3rd March every year, commemorating the day of signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) by world leaders.

The theme of the World Wildlife Day 2019 is “Life Below Water: For People and Planet ”. This becomes responsibility of the Government and people of the State to join hands in protecting water bodies in the State; which are habitats of a variety of wild flora and fauna. We are well aware that basic needs of human beings i.e. food, clothes and shelter are, directly and indirectly, met from forests. Forests not only have local affects in field of climate change, global warming and health etc but also have affects in these fields at regional, national and global level. Forests address ecological, food and water security of the country. 

Human beings and animals have very intrinsic relationship. The survival of man is dependent on the survival of animal and plant life. Nature, forest and wildlife can survive without human beings; but vice versa is not possible.

Our country is one of the mega bio-diverse countries of the world. This diversity is, however, under stress from poaching and organised wildlife trade with global ramifications. Illegal wildlife trade is driven mainly by the huge profits earned by traders. Low risk and no penalties make the trade highly lucrative. I appeal to the people of the State to join hands with the Government in curbing wildlife crime.

The importance of forest & wildlife had been recognised long back in our constitution and in the Directive Principles of the State Policy.

In Nagaland, our forefathers were hunters in the past. They used to hunt wild animals to eat and survive, as nothing edible was available in jungle. Now, the State of Nagaland is developing like other parts of the country. Plenty of edible material is available for eating and survival. People are coming forward for protection and conservation of forest and wildlife. The latest example is protection of Amur falcons by the people and the State has been recognised as the Falcons’ capital of the world. 

The provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 are in conflict with cultural practices of the Nagas. The Government of Nagaland had been implementing the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 since 18th December 2018, by looking into the importance of forest and wildlife in our life.

Water and wetlands play an important role for the rural poor as they affect their health, livelihood and economy. There are 421 wetlands, spread over 21554 hectare in the State of Nagaland. These wetlands are degraded, polluted due to biotic factors namely; siltation, catchment erosion, discharge of domestic sewage and effluents, etc. which result in deterioration of water quality and prolific weed growth, decline in biodiversity and other associative problems. There is a need of conservation of water bodies.

Scenario of forest and wildlife is completely different in Nagaland, as compared to other parts of our country. In Nagaland, the lion’s share of forest wealth (88.3%) is owned by individuals and communities and in other parts of our country, most of forests are owned by the Government. Thus, the people of the State are more responsible for protection and conservation of forest and wildlife as compared to the Government.

Functions of forests are independent of their ownership. Similarly, wild animals do not differentiate between Government owned forests and privately owned forests. They exist where they get food, water, shelter and security. People are coming forward to declare their land for wild animals and their habits. The Government of Nagaland has Notified 57 numbers of Community Reserves and good numbers of proposals for Notification of Community Conservation Areas (CCAs) into Community Reserves are under process with the Government. Nagaland is the only State of our country; where extent of privately/ community owned protected areas (354.6057 Sq.Km) is more than the Government owned protected areas (241.2 Sq.Km).

On the auspicious occasion of the WORLD WILDLIFE DAY 2019 (03-03-2019), I appeal to all my fellow citizens of Nagaland to join hands with the Forest Department in saving, water bodies, rich wildlife of the State, come forward to declare their land, solely for the purpose of wild animals and their habitats, in order to ensure availability of resources for our future generation on sustained basis. 

Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Nagaland

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