Dimapur, June 12 (EMN): Wildlife division, Dimapur, has conducted survey and seminar/awareness programmes in the recently declared community reserved forests in Zunheboto district.
A department press release stated that survey and seminar/awareness programmes were conducted separately at Chishilimi, Lizutomi and Tsuruhu villages during the first week of June 2018 with the participation of GBs, village councils, community reserved forests committees, teachers and students of the village primary schools and invitees from neighbouring villages.
Speaking on behalf of wildlife warden, Dimapur, Hukai H Zhimo, Forester – I of wildlife crime control unit, spoke on the meaning and significance of community reserve forest. He explained that community reserve forests are forestland owned and managed by the community/village and that there is no transfer of forestland to the government. He said the people, communities and villages are the sole and exclusive owners of the forestlands.
He informed that the department and the government give recognition to community reserved forests and provide financial assistance to manage their forests and carryout various wildlife habitat enrichment activities such as construction/ creation of waterholes, saltlicks, planting of fruit tree species etc for wild animals and birds.
He added that alternative livelihood measures such as distribution of piglets and poultry were carried out to reduce people’s dependence on forests and wildlife.
Beside, watchtowers/ lookout towers are also constructed to check poaching, illegal logging, fire etc inside the community reserved forests, he added.
He lamented how the natural habitats of wild animals and plants are being destroyed for land development, farming and human greed adding our planet have lost many species of wildlife.
Stating that everyone should own equal responsibility to conserve wildlife and nature, he has appealed to all the participants to make sincere and concerted efforts towards securing the future of wildlife, keeping in mind the significant role the wildlife plays in maintaining ecological equilibrium.
A short speech was delivered by Dr. Inato Zhimo, chairman of Tsuruhu village community reserve wherein he shared the success story of how Israel gained worldwide reputation for its ability to reverse the process of desertification and cultivate forests which was previously a barren desert.
He thanked the forest department and the government for recognition of Tsuruhu community reserve forest and assured to work sincerely and selflessly towards making their village community reserve forest a model reserve forest.
Kakiye Zhimo, member of Tsuruhu village community reserve, explained as to how each organism on earth has a unique place in food chain that helps to contribute to the ecosystem in its own special way. He appealed to all the participants to protect and preserve all life forms found in wild for maintaining the ecological balance.
A short speech on wildlife protection was delivered by Longshak Konyak, Forester-I of wildlife crime control unit, Dimapur.
He said that the term ‘wildlife’ not only refers to wild animals but includes all birds, insects, plants, fungi and even microscopic organisms. He explained some of the important Sections of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and said that wildlife crime is as serious as any other crimes adding that violation of the act would invite penalties/ punishments.
The GBs, village council chairmen, chairmen and members of the respective village community reserved forests have assured full support and cooperation to the department and committed towards preserving and protecting wildlife and forests within their jurisdiction.
The programme concluded with skill upgradation training to selected participants from community reserved forests committees, who were trained on basic of GPS (taking geo coordinates, elevations, waypoints etc) by field staff from wildlife division, Dimapur.