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Aaranyak provides IFS officials with insight into conservation works in Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape

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HT Bureau
GUWAHATI, June 19: 
Aaranyak, a prominent biodiversity conservation organisation, provided a comprehensive overview of its conservation efforts in the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape to a delegation of Indian Forest Service (IFS) officials (trainees). The visit, which took place from June 11 to 17, aimed to familiarise the officials with the conservation initiatives in the region and Aaranyak’s engagement with communities through Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM).

During their visit, the officials met with Ramesh Gogoi, the divisional forest officer (DFO) of Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve, and engaged in discussions about the park’s diversity and management practices. Dr Dipankar Lahkar, Dr Arif Hussain, and Dr Jayanta Kumar Roy from Aaranyak were also present during these discussions.

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The delegation visited Aaranyak’s Field Station in Kohora, where they interacted with the organisation’s team members. Dr Dipankar Lahkar and Dr Arif Hussain shared their experiences from Manas and Kaziranga National Parks, respectively, while Dr Jayanta Roy provided an overview of Aaranyak’s ongoing activities in the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong Landscape. Additionally, Dr Bibhab Kr Talukdar, secretary general & CEO of Aaranyak, briefed the team about the current challenges and wildlife conservation efforts, as well as networking among stakeholders.

As part of their visit, the officials participated in a guided ‘Village Walk’ led by Aaranyak’s Sarlongjon Teron and Bhargavee Rava to learn about the local culture and the dynamics of the Kohora River Basin (KRB). They visited an agroforestry model plot and Aaranyak’s community resource center, where Dr Jayanta Kumar Sarma, a senior official, provided insights into community mobilisation, engagement, and the approach of CBNRM for biodiversity conservation and livelihood security. The team also learned about the marketing of community products and the collaboration between the forest department and non-profit organisations for community engagement in biodiversity conservation.
To gain exposure to eco-tourism, the officials took part in an exciting trek called ‘Ingnam Kengkam’ accompanied by Aaranyak’s Deepika Chhetri and Leenthoi Laishram. They visited a jhum plot to understand jhum cultivation and ecorestoration activities undertaken by jhum practitioners and Aaranyak.

During their visit to Golaghat Forest Division, the officials discussed human-elephant conflict with DFO Susil Kumar Thakuria, visited Bogidhola Tea Estate, and Kalioni LP School to observe the community-operated solar fence that facilitates coexistence. They also interacted with village communities at Bokial, with the coordination of Niranjan Bhuyan from Aaranyak.

Finally, the team participated in an outreach event called ‘Rhino Goes to School’ at Mohuramukh High School, designed for students. Through presentations on rhinos, discussions about local flora and fauna, interactions, and an open quiz, Aaranyak’s Arif Hussain provided the officials with a broad exposure to sensitizing students about rhino conservation in the rhino-bearing area.

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Overall, the visit provided the IFS officials with valuable insights into Aaranyak’s conservation efforts in the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape and its engagement with communities for sustainable natural resource management.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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