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Aaranyak organises ‘Nature’s Wonderland’ to promote forest ecology awareness

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HT Bureau

 

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GUWAHATI, Nov 28: Aaranyak, a leading biodiversity conservation and research organisation in Northeast India, organised an event titled ‘Nature’s Wonderland – a journey of curiosity’ to enhance understanding of forest ecology within urban landscapes. The event was held at the Rani Reserve Forest in Kamrup District and focused on exploring forest biodiversity and its significance in the context of rapid urbanisation.

Aaranyak emphasised the transformative impact of urbanisation on natural landscapes worldwide. As cities expand to accommodate growing populations seeking education, employment, and improved living standards, natural resources such as land, air, forests, rivers, streams, wetlands, and croplands are increasingly under threat. This rapid urbanisation has led to deforestation, urban heat island (UHI) effects, freshwater scarcity, pollution, flash floods, and exacerbated climate change, posing significant challenges to urban environments.

In an attempt to address these environmental challenges, Aaranyak organised the ‘Nature’s Wonderland’ event, where ten students from Rani High School, accompanied by their faculty members, Dr Prarthana Mudoi and Kakali Buragohain, embarked on a captivating journey through the Rani Reserve Forest. Aaranyak’s biologist, Jigyas Boruah, introduced the participants to the art and science of birdwatching, guiding them on the use and adjustment of binoculars. Boruah also provided insights into the ecology and habitat characteristics of various bird species encountered during the trail.

Aaranyak also highlighted the crucial role of forests in the city of Guwahati, a bowl-shaped metropolis nestled amidst verdant hills. These forests, both within the city and its periphery, provide a range of essential environmental services, including heat mitigation, air and noise pollution reduction, groundwater recharge, and nature-based solutions that contribute to socio-economic and psychological benefits.

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The event also included sessions on satellite navigation and biodiversity conservation. Aaranyak’s environmentalist, Tanvi Hussain, introduced the participants to the concept of satellite-based navigation devices, specifically GPS, and explained the process of trilateration for determining the geo-location of a place, a technology widely used in modern gadgets.

Aaranyak’s Wasima Begum guided the students in creating a ‘Leaves Museum’ using fallen leaves collected during the trail. The students arranged the leaves to form a flower, symbolising the diversity and variability of flora and fauna. Another group used the leaves to depict Lord Ganesha, highlighting the shrinking of wild habitats and emphasizing the importance of Human-Elephant coexistence. These activities showcased the enthusiasm and awareness of Generation Z towards environmental issues and biodiversity conservation.

Aaranyak’s commitment to environmental education was evident throughout the event, which was coordinated and conducted by Aaranyak’s Pranab Goswami and Wasima Begum. Through such initiatives, Aaranyak continues to foster environmental awareness and understanding among the younger generation, empowering them to become stewards of nature in the face of growing environmental challenges.

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