Guwahati, December 14: A day-long consultation organized by the premier research-based biodiversity conservation organisation, Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org) with traditional village councils of Kohora and Diring River basin area of Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape in Assam resolved to work with a participatory approach to expedite development, secure livelihood and natural resources.
It was further decided that all the activities for the purpose would be co-designed and implemented keeping the Rong Asar amei (traditional village council) as key village-level institutions.
The ‘Borkangbura’ (Sarkari Gaobura) of Kohora, Karbi Anglong, Raising Rongpi, took lead in the day-long consultation with the village councils of Kohora and Diring River basin area at the Community Resource Center of Chandrasing Rongpi village, Kohora, December 10 last.
The Sarthe (headmen) along with the representatives of their respective village council members of 10 villages including the Sarkari Gaobura participated in the consultation that was meant to establish a strong relationship and communication network with the Rong Asar Amei and share Aaranyak’s ongoing interventions involving communities at the Kaziranga Karbi Anglong Landscape so as to strengthen the traditional village institutions over the time.
Sarlongjon Teron from Aaranyak made an audio-visual presentation on the organisation’s activities in livelihood and other related areas. An open discussion on alternative sustainable livelihood, interventions, and sharing of ideas was coordinated by Dr Jayanta Kumar Sarma, an expert from Aaranyak.
Dr Firoz Ahmed, senior scientist from Aaranyak shared his vision on working with the village councils and ideas about the importance of local plant species and their market demand and how a community could become sustainable and resilient with these resources.
“We are happy that a non-profit organisation like Aaranyak is working for the development of our village and the natural environment and so far they have taken up some wonderful initiatives”, said Gulapsing Engti, the headman of Bakring Engti.
The headman of Sivoram Terang village stated that their village is the most backward in the region mainly because of the hostile terrain and poor quality of soil not suitable for cultivation. He welcomed Aaranyak to the village and expressed the eagerness to work together.
“Aaranyak has done splendid works in the villages of Kohora River Basin, like educating our future generations, establishing training facilities, initiation of ecotourism and home stays in the villages and families engaged. They have also supported the villages with 60 solar street lights for the convenience of the villagers during the night,” Raising Rongpi, the Chairperson of the meeting addressed.
The meeting started with a welcome address by Sarlongjon Teron from Aaranyak followed by facilitation of all the village headmen.