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Cultural exchange and conservation of nature discussed at Daifam

The officials of Samdrup Jonkhar district of Royal government of Bhutan and Indian officials of Udalguri district and members of environmental NGOs of Assam met at sub-divisional HQ Daifam in Bhutan on May 2 recently to discuss conservation of nature and cultural exchange between the two districts of India and Bhutan. Mutual cooperation for speeding up conservation of flora and fauna near the international border was also discussed at the meeting. Indian side was led by Thaneswar Malakar, Deputy Commissioner, Udalguri. Other members were Girindra Adhikari, DFO and Madhurya Sarma ACF of Dhansiri Forest Division; Mubina Akhtar, Green Reporter and Coordinator of Assam Environmental NGO Forum; Jayanta Kumar Das, Hony. Wildlife Warden, Udalguri; Dr.Bibhuti Lahkar, Dr. Abdul Wakid and Ashok Dey of Aranyak; Raj Phukan of Green Guard (had been to Antarctica this year) etc.

Bhutan side was led by Gholing Tshering, Deputy Commissioner, Samdrup Jonkhar district. All the district officials of Bhutan district including SDO (Civil), Daifam; DFO, Samdrup Jonkhar etc were present at the meeting held at Daifam Circuit House. Earlier DC, Gholing Tshering welcomed Thaneswar Malakar, DC, Udalguri with a traditional Bhutan shawl. In return DC Udalguri felicitated his Bhutan counterpart with an aarnai. Welcoming DC, officials and distinguished people Bhutan DC said that conservation of environment had been difficult in Bhutan side these days following massive destruction of forests in Assam, India. He pointed out that taking advantage of difficult terrain and less security forces, anti social activists from India had started destroying forests in Bhutan. He expressed hearty thanks to Thaneswar Malakar, DC, Udalguri for meeting him and his officials. He assured that he would arrange to send a cultural group to Indian side to encourage friendship, cooperation and cultural exchange.

DC Udalguri also thanked Royal Government of Bhutan for the warm reception that day. According to him wild animals mostly wild elephants had always been safe in the forests of Bhutan. “Destruction of forests in Bhutan would create more man-elephant like problems in the state” DC remarked. He declared that he too would invite his Bhutan counter part along with officials and cultural group to Udalguri.

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Environmental journalist.

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