KOHIMA, NOVEMBER 10: The Sendenyu village’s community conservation efforts have caught attention from environmentalists outside the State as its Community Biodiversity & Wildlife Conservation Committee was honoured with the Annual Balipara Foundation Award 2016. The award was received by the chairman of the committee, G Thong, at a convention held under the aegis of Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics Forum 2016 in Guwahati on Wednesday.
“Alarmed by the rapidly disappearing floral and faunal populations within a span of a generation due to excessive hunting, logging and jhum cultivation, you have felt the need to take drastic steps to preserve and protect the biological diversity of your region. Conservation efforts and enforcement of rules in the village Protected Area and other community land have today resulted in the return of a diversity of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians that had once disappeared…
The success of the Sendenyu Community Biodiversity Reserve in Nagaland as a model worthy of replication across India is due to your vision to preserve and protect the rich biological diversity heritage of your community,” stated the citation that was given to the conservation committee.
The Sendenyu village, under Kohima district, conserves about 22 Sq Kms of the forest around the village. The village is said to impose bans on hunting periodically in the past. However in 2015, when a three-year ban expired, the village’s Community Biodiversity & Wildlife Conservation Committee called a public meeting with its three associate villages wherein it was decided that an indefinite ban on hunting in the village land would be imposed. Sendenyu’s avid efforts in conservation which spans for the last 15 years or so, reportedly saw a visible migration and increase in wildlife population in the neighbouring village areas where, until the recent past, were almost thought to have gone extinct.
Congratulating the people of Sendenyu for doing the state proud by their initiatives, Chief Conservator of Forests, Supongnukshi acknowledged the villagers in their involvement in conservation work and the results thereof since their declaration of the reserve.
“It is because of initiatives and examples like this that we see a lot of communities coming forward to preserve their forests and natural resources which is otherwise fast dwindling. We hope that in the near future all the villages in Nagaland will follow their exemplary work for the betterment of the community and posterity sake,” he said.
“I hope this award would just be the beginning of recognition of the tremendous efforts of the three associate villages around Sendenyu and many more awards and recognitions will follow,” says Sidramappa Chalkapure, the District Forest Officer of Kohima. The official is enthusiastic that the recognition will also give a big impetus for community conservation in Nagaland. He congratulated the Sendenyu villagers and village leaders for the recognition on behalf of the department of Environment, Forests & Climate Change.
The Balipara Foundation Awards were launched in 2013 to honour environmental crusaders (individuals and organizations) who are creating social, economic and environmental impacts protecting essential natural resources and restoring the pristine beauty of the eastern Himalayas.
The award comes with a citation, cash reward and support from the Balipara Foundation for future initiatives to conserve and preserve the natural heritage of the eastern Himalayas.