Guwahati, Dec 10: Villagers and village headmen from more than 20 village councils of East Khasi Hills (EKH) district of Meghalaya were sensitised on the alarming threat posed to our wildlife resources because of burgeoning wildlife crimes that have transcended frontiers across the globe and the NE India region has been bearing the brunt of it.
As part of the sustained efforts to raise awareness level on wildlife crimes at the grassroots, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) of Government of India, in partnership with biodiversity conservation and research organisation Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org) conducted these awareness programmes on December 8 and 9 in Shillong and Nongpoh in Meghalaya.
Wildlife crime that has become the fourth largest illegal trade globally in respect of volume and money involved in it. Besides it poses threat to the national security for its intricate relation with arms smuggling and illegal trade in narcotics drugs.
The programmes were organised on 8th and 9th December at Shillong and Nongpoh respectively, where villagers and village headmen of more than 20 village councils participated. The CWLW, Meghalaya Mr. Sahay inaugurated the programme in Shillong, which was also attended by the Ms. Anu James, DFO, East Khasi Hills and the Range Officers of Shillong and Nongpoh.
Jawaharlal Baro, Assistant Director of WCCB, Sub-regional office, apprised the participants of the purpose of the programme and also spoke about the importance of WCCB as an agency to control wildlife crime.
Hiten Bora, Intelligence Assistance, WCCB spoke about the importance of village council members and their roles in minimizing wildlife crime. He mentioned about the different laws and sections under WLPA (1972).
The programme was also attended by Dr. Bibhab Kr. Talukdar, SG and CEO of Aaranyak and Dr. Jimmy Borah, Senior Manager, Legal and Advocacy Division (LAD), Aaranyak. Dr. Talukdar interacted with forest department officials and also spoke about the illegal wildlife trade in the region with a focus on the charismatic species. He mentioned how species like rhinos are crucial to maintain the ecological balance on the earth.
Dr. Borah spoke on the global perspective of wildlife crime narrowing down to crimes in the region and ways to manage those.
The villagers interacted well with the resource persons and asked various questions on how to minimize conflicts in village areas. They also said that they would be happy to share any relevant information with authorities to help curb any wildlife crime in the region.