Police and NGO organize workshop on wildlife conservation for the masses in India
Meghalaya Police and Aaranyak organise a workshop on wildlife conservation in Tura. The workshop focused on involving the masses and preventing wildlife crime.
Meghalaya Police and Aaranyak organization held a workshop in Tura to involve the masses in wildlife conservation and prevent wildlife crime. The workshop aimed to highlight the important role of common people in biodiversity conservation and the efficacy of wildlife laws. The DIG of Meghalaya Police, C V S Reddy, stressed that humans have a responsibility to protect biodiversity and prevent wildlife crime, which is a threat to national security due to its nexus with arms smugglers, drug cartels, and militants. The workshop was attended by officials from different ranks of Meghalaya Police and Forest Department, Nokmas, and village heads, who shared their concerns about the hazards of wildlife crime and human-elephant conflict in their areas. The workshop helped to create awareness and sensitize the officials from enforcement and investigating agencies about the difference between Wildlife cases and other cases as well as how to deal with the amendments incorporated into the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
Inaugurating the workshop, C V S Reddy stated that human beings would go extinct if biodiversity is not there, and therefore, it is the responsibility of humans to protect biodiversity by checking wildlife crime. He added that the unprecedented heatwave experienced in Garo Hills region may be due to wanton destruction of forest cover, and hence there is a need to use new agriculture technologies to reduce the area under shifting cultivation that requires burning of the forest. Reddy cited Jadav Payeng, the "Forest Man of India," who has converted a barren sandbar island to a thick forest in Assam, as a glaring example of how a common man can make a huge contribution towards biodiversity conservation.
Dr. Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, the Secretary General and CEO of Aaranyak, emphasized the important role of common people in conservation of wildlife and habitats, as the Constitution of India has put the onus of conservation of biodiversity on every citizen. Talukdar laid emphasis on synergized efforts for conservation of wildlife and prevention of wildlife crime, which poses a threat to national security due to its nexus with arms smugglers, drug cartels, and militants. He also stated that successful conservation of wildlife species leads to conservation of habitats.
The workshop was attended by officers from different ranks of Meghalaya Police and Forest Department from all five districts of Garo hills region who were apprised of the key clauses of Wildlife, Forest and Environment Laws, especially Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act, 2022 by Environment Lawyer Ajoy Kumar Das, who is associated with Aaranyak. Das explained the efficacy of these law provisions through a lucid presentation that induced engrossing interactions with the police and forest officials and even village heads and Nokmas present. The focus of his presentation was to sensitize the officials from enforcement and investigating agencies about the difference between wildlife cases and other cases as well as how to deal with the amendments incorporated into the Wildlife (Protection) Act. He also explained the investigation procedure and way of filing of complaint petition before the court by the authorized investigation officers so as to increase the conviction rate in wildlife crime cases.
Nokmas and village heads participating in the workshop flagged hazards of wildlife crime and human-elephant conflict pertaining to their areas and sought cooperation and assistance from both government and non-government agencies. The workshop helped to create awareness and sensitize the officials and the common masses about the importance of biodiversity conservation and the hazards of wildlife crime. The workshop also highlighted the important role of common people in conservation of wildlife and habitats, and how they can contribute towards biodiversity conservation. The workshop was an excellent initiative by the Meghalaya Police and Aaranyak organization, and it will go a long way in creating awareness and sensitizing the officials and the common masses about the importance of biodiversity conservation.