India, Bangladesh to Build Infra, Teams To Protect Jumbos


The Shillong Times

Date Published

SHILLONG: The 2nd India-Bangladesh Dialogue on Trans-Boundary Conservation of Elephants, which concluded here on Thursday, decided that all agreed action points would lead to finalisation of protocol on trans-border conservation of the animals and it would be signed before the third round of dialogue in Bangladesh by June 2018.

Speaking to media persons, Director General of Forests Siddhanta Das said both the governments have agreed to hold dialogues at regular intervals to develop and implement a coordinated and holistic approach for conservation of elephants. 

The talks were held in Shillong as most of the elephant migratory corridors across Indo-Bangladesh border are in Meghalaya. 

Das added that a Joint Working Group would be constituted within 60 days to evolve and develop protocols and standard operating procedures for conservation and management of elephants, besides identifying, periodic updates and sharing locations and critical period for migration. 

Both the countries also agreed to facilitate the process of trans-boundary natural migration through appropriate openings and mechanisms at local level, besides monitoring and detecting presence and movement of elephants with the help of modern devices. 

Creating a database of migration was also discussed. 

According to Director General of Forests Siddhanta Das, response teams would also be formed and squads would be deployed to guide straying elephants.

The meeting also ensured sharing of information, through authorised officials, on the presence and movement of elephants in border areas on real-time basis through telephone, e-mail, Whatsapp and other social media apps. 

In addition, a Joint Coordination Group at the district level across the international border will be constituted. It will consist of the Divisional Forest Officer and the Commandant of the Border Guards in each Forest Division having one or more trans-boundary migratory corridors. 

The meeting also impressed on the need to empower district authorities of both countries to permit trans-boundary movement of elephant rescue teams.