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Aaranyak’s bid to ramp up mitigation measures in HEC hotspots

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HT Bureau
GUWAHATI, May 19: 
Aaranyak, a premier research-oriented biodiversity conservation organisation, as part of its relentless efforts on mitigation of human elephant conflict (HEC) through community involvement explored ways to ramp up the mitigation measures by holding an awareness cum sensitisation programme on HEC at Hatogaon village of Goalpara district.
The programme was held at Dhamor Panchayat Community Hall on Thursday, where 50 participants of four HEC hotspots villages such as Hatogaon part I, Hatogaon Part II, Medhipara Part I and Medhipara Part II adjacent to Assam- Meghalaya boundary participated and shared their views on the present situation.
The village heads of different areas, VDP secretary and VDP members, village social worker and other villagers participated the programme where Dr Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, a senior conservation scientist of Aaranyak interacted with the participants to elicit their inputs on the present HEC scenario of the area and talked about elephant habitat, movement, behaviour and fodder.
Senior Aaranyak official Anjan Baruah interacted with the participants and delivered a presentation on ways for facilitating human-elephant coexistence through community participation.
Gour Chandra Barman, a social worker of Medhipara Part-I village described the present scenario of the area and shared about the HEC in this entire area. He also suggested eviction of rubber plantations in forest areas for elephants.
Harmohan Nath of Medhipara part I interacted about the non-receipt of compensation for victims of HEC and support against crop and property damages from forest department.
Ripunjoy Nath and Subhash Rabha of Aaranyak also interacted with the participants. The programme activities were captured in camera by Bijoy Kalilta of Aaranyak.
At the end of the meeting 20 rechargeable torch lights had been distributed to the village heads and VDP members of four villages.
Sanjay Barman, a member of the Elephant Conservation Network formed by Aaranyak moderated the awareness programme.
Torchlights distribution for HEC mitigation: In an effort to promote coexistence in the district of Udalguri- another high human-elephant conflict affected district in Assam, Aaranyak provided 30 rechargeable torch lights to Dibakar Das, divisional forest officer, Dhansiri division, Udalguri. The powerful torch lights are a simple, low-cost and effective mitigation tool that aids in driving away the elephants from human-use areas and usher in a sense of security for the local communities and forest officials who are responsible for tackling such situations.

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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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