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Biodiversity conservation camp on Indo-Bhutan border

A five day's field based biodiversity conservation workshop was organised at Nonai forest Range Office under Khalingduar Reserve Forest, heavily infested with man-elephant conflict for a couple of years.Aranyak,Assam organised the programme from July 16 to July 21 in association with Nonai Forest Range Office,Khalingduar Reserve Forest and Green Valley Forest and Wildlife Protection Society,a local NGO working for the conservation of nature and wildlife.This has been the first of its kind of programme organized in such remote area far away from towns and cities. Dr.Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, Programme Secretary,Namita Brahma,Bird expert and Bipul Das,butterfly expert of Aranyak,Assam attended the programme as resourced person.34 numbers of boys and girls, mostly Adivasi,Nepali participated in the workshop. Ananta Bagh,CEO of Green Valley Forest and Wildlife Protection Society also attended the programme on all the five days.

The programme was organized to create awareness among locals,who had been facing conflicts with wild animals mostly wild elephants for decades.Due to rapid deforestation and expansion of tea gardens,the green cover is nearly lost causing man -elephant conflict. The programme covered topics like-importance of bio-diversity with special reference to conservation of local species of birds,animals, butterflies, reptiles,primates and plants etc. Field study was also arranged for the participants inside the Khalingduar Reserve Forest for practical knowledge,where they were taught about the 'do and do nots' in the forest area.The participants learned about the behaviour of wild animals and birds so as to maintain peaceful co existence with wild animals without causing much damage to each other and to minimize direct confrontation with wild animals.

The closing function was held on July 21.Dr.Bibhuti Lahkar,Namita Brahma of Aranyak, Assam; Haladhar Kalita,Range Officer,Nonai Range Office were felicitated with gamocha. Dr.Lahkar thanked all forest officials,members of Green Valley Forest and Wildlife Protection Society,participating boys and girls and media people for all the help and cooperation in organizing the programme at Nonai.He also expressed his willingness to another such programme in Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary,famous for pygmy hog. Speaking on the occasion he also said that most of the green cover of the existing forests of Assam had been lost. Existing elephant corridors had also been destroyed causing man-elephant conflict in Udalguri,Sonitpur and Golaghat districts.

Range Officer,Haladhar Kalita,CEO Ananta Bagh also spoke a few words on the occasion. Participants namely- Rahul Amin Khan,Ranjeeta Bagh,Chandrika Lomjel, Mufasil Khan and Bimal Lohan thanked organizers for arranging the programme at Nonai. Distinguished journalists of Udalguri district namely- Bapan Sarma, President,Bodoland Journalist Association; Diganta Sarma, Secretary,Tangla Press Club;Kanneswar Deka,President, Kalaigaon Press Guild and Jayanta Das,Advisor,Bodoland Journalist Association attended the closing ceremony as the invited guests. Aranyak,Assam presented a set of books and a binocular to the local NGO at the end of the ceremony.

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Environmental journalist.


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