‘Decrease in biodiversity, a serious threat to survival’
Imphal: There has been a steady decrease in wildlife population through hunting, encroachment, habitat destruction by bush fires and forest clearance for farmland and settlement, said a press statement released by range forest officer Neitinkim, Kangpokpi Forest Division, Manipur.
A Wildlife awareness programme was organised as a part of Wildlife Week 2022 celebration by Kangpokpi Forest Division at T Waichong village, Kangpokpi, Manipur. The programme aimed at building awareness of the relation between wildlife conservation and community.
Hunting and gathering for subsistence and income generation has been a common practice since time immemorial for local communities. However over the years, there has been a steady decrease in wildlife population through hunting, encroachment, habitat destruction by bush fires and forest clearance for farmland and settlement. This decrease in biodiversity has been felt greatly not only by conservationists but more so by the local communities which in turn is a serious threat to their very survival, the release said.
Recognising the current threat, N. Ganesh, Divisional Forest Officer, Kangpokpi Forest Division, in his speech, laid great stress on active participation of the local population in saving the environment. He persisted on community based wildlife management plan. He appealed the public to come forward and declare their areas as Community Reserves so that it is well managed and the livelihood needs is also taken care of by having Community Reserve related activities sponsored by the Government of India.
The event saw around 45 attendees including CSOs, villagers and Village Authorities of villages located in and around T Waichong attending the programme.
The highlight of the event was conservation pledges whereby they acknowledge that conserving nature is essential for mankind’s survival and to lay down hunting weapons.
A special session was also organised discussing the breeding season of various animals and birds of the state to have a better understanding about the delicate population of the fauna.
The forest division organised painting, slogan, quiz and essay competitions for school students on September 28 under the Wildlife Week, 2022 theme “The future of Wildlife is in our hands”.
The celebration will continue with a formal prize distribution function on October 8 and wrapped up with Imphal River Clean Up Campaign on October 10.