Human-animal conflict mitigation campaign (India)


The Morung Express

Date Published

Mokokchung: A human-animal (wildlife) conflict mitigation awareness campaign was organised by the Forest Department, Nagaland in the council hall of Mangmetong village, Mokokchung district on June 17. Around 150 persons and representatives from the district administration, agri and allied departments, chairmen/members of village councils of the villages affected with human-elephant conflict from Mokokchung and Zunheboto districts attended the event which was sponsored by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of India.
K. Caroline Angami, IFS, Wildlife Warden, Dimapur gave a brief background of the existing problem in the State.

I. Panger, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Head of Forests Force, Nagaland and chief guest of the programme, deliberated on intrinsic relationship between human beings and animals by quoting from the Bible that God had created the earth first, plants and animals second and human beings afterwards. In this light, he stated human life is impossible without wild animal. He briefed the causes of human-animal conflict and appealed to the participants to protect wildlife for human survival.

Sushil Kumar Patel, IAS, Deputy Commissioner of Mokokchung asked the Forest Department to establish a mechanism so that people can contact the Forest Department immediately after incidents of human-animal conflict for appropriate action. He briefed how compensation is paid for such incidents by the District Disaster Management Authority, Mokokchung and appealed to the people to insure their crops/domestic animals for getting compensation under the Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme by paying premium.

In his keynote address, Satya Prakash Tripathi, Chief Wildlife Warden, Nagaland, stated the genesis of human-elephant conflict in the State in general and Mokokchung district in particular. He highlighted the policies of the State government and the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India for addressing the problem. He appealed to the people for protection of forest and wildlife and contact forest officials immediately in case of damage of their crop/ properties/ human life.

Supongnukshi, IFS, CCF (EBR) spoke on existing traditional routes for movement of elephants and possibility of translocation of the wild elephants.

Meanwhile, Sunep Imchen, an officer from Veterinary and Husbandry Department, Mokokchung urged the affected people to solve the problem by unconditionally giving their land for opening the blocked elephant corridors for movement of elephants between Assam and Nagaland. He also requested the Wildlife Wing of the Forest Department to publish elephant repellent activities in local dialect for affected people.

There was good number of people who spoke on the suffering caused by wild elephants, payment of meagre compensation by the Government against damage of their crops by wild elephants, according to a press release. All the questions raised by the public were responded by the officials of the Forest Department and there was a healthy interaction, it added.

This was followed by demonstration on elephant repellent by the officials of the Wildlife Crime Control Unit, Wildlife Division, Dimapur.

The programme was chaired by YM Jami, Conservator of Forests (NTC), Mokokchung and Director, Intanki National Park, Dimapur.