Guwahati, July 12: Pitching for a synergized and sustained efforts for mitigation human-wildlife interface involving all stakeholders including masses, elephant conservation expert Dr Bibhuti P Lahkar today said Assam is fraught with the worst human-elephant conflict situation in the country.
He said Assam accounts for 60-70 per cent of total human lives lost in the country annually because of the raging man-elephant conflict. Dr Lahkar underlined the need for inter-state coordination in the region particularly between Assam and Meghalaya to mitigate the situation to a greater extent.
“In a situation of raging human-wildlife (wild elephant) interface in Goalpara district media personnel have an important role to play in creating a coordinated atmosphere amongst different stakeholders including the masses to mitigate the conflict,” he said while explaining various causes of human-wildlife interface.
Dr Lahkar was addressing an interactive workshop on ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Human Wildlife Coexistence’ with media held under the aegis of Goalpara District Journalist Association and Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org).
He and other resource persons from Aaranyak in the workshop flagged the responsibility of the media to highlight the human-wildlife interface with special reference to human-elephant frequent interface prevalent in Goalpara district.
Jayanta Pathak, the manager of Environment Education and Capacity Building Division (EECBD) of Aaranyak, addressing the interaction focused on the extra mile the media personnel need to traverse to keep the issues concerning biodiversity conservation and the trend and challenges of environmental journalism as on date.
Pathak urged the media personnel to put up sustained efforts in covering issues related to conservation of biodiversity and protection of wildlife habitats.
He pointed out the limited but important role of catalyst that can be played by media in creating synergy among various stakeholders to facilitate sustained efforts for biodiversity conservation.
He said that since it was the masses in the grassroots that can call a huge say in achieving conservation goals, the media as a mass communicator must inform and educate various aspects, dimensions of biodiversity that sustains or life and livelihood.
The media personnel raised various queries on challenges and issued they face in covering issues related to biodiversity conservation and human-wildlife conflict. They made and important suggestion of holding such sensitization workshop among villagers who have to bear the brunt of conflict with wildlife especially the alarming human-elephant interface in Goalpara district.