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Awareness campaign programme on human-elephant (wild animal) conflict mitigation was held at Hammock Resort, Wokha district on July 4.
Wildlife warden, Dimapur, K. Caroline Angami, IFS welcomed the participants and gave a brief background of the existing problem in the state.
Addressing the programme as chief guest, Inspector General of Forest and director, Project Elephant, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, R. K. Srivastava said that both the Government of India and state government was well aware and have concerned with the protracted problem of human – elephant prevalent in the region.
He said that the ministry will extend all possible assistance to address the issue by paying compensation/ ex-gratia to the affected and for creation of elephant based community reserves. He appealed to the villagers not to harm elephants and requested the forest department to strengthen the wildlife wing and create wildlife range at Wokha.
He also advised chief wildlife warden, Nagaland to pursue with the responsible authorities for possible infrastructural funding for the wildlife wing with the North East Council (NEC), Ministry for Development of the North- East Region, Government of India (DoNER), New Delhi.
Chief wildlife warden, Nagaland, Satya Prakash briefed on the genesis of the human animal conflict prevalent in the state in general and elephant problem in Wokha district in particular.
He gave a power point presentation, highlighting history/extent/assessment and payment of compensation/ possible solution to the problem. Power point presentation on different aspects of human-animal conflict was presented by APCCF (Territorial), Meyipokyim, IFS, while CCF(EBR), Supongnukshi also gave power point presentation on distribution of wild elephants in the region and also on possibility of opening blocked elephant corridors, connecting Assam and Nagaland.
Secretary, Forest department, Imtienla Ao spoke on the financial condition of the government and budget allocation to the forest department. She also informed that a wildlife range at Wokha would be created soon. Director, Kaziranga National Park, Satyendra Singh and representative of the government of Assam, deliberated on possible adoption and mitigation of the elephant problem, pros and cons of opening blocked elephant corridors, between Assam and Nagaland. ACD Wokha, additional SP Wokha, former minister, Dr. Chumben Murry and public leaders highlighted the problem caused by wild elephants.
Wildlife Crime Control Branch, Dimapur presented a demonstration on elephant repellents. The program was chaired by APCCF (Territorial), Meyipokyim and DFO, Wokha, while God’s blessing was invoked by deacon Zurenthung Murry of Wokha village Baptist Church. Vote of thanks was proposed by Zuthunglo Patton.
The campaign was organized by the forest department with participation of around 150 persons, officers from the district administration, police/forest department, veterinary and animal husbandry department, chairmen/members of village councils of villages affected with human-elephant conflict from Wokha-Zunheboto district, with sponsorship of the MoEF&CC, government of India.