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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Consultation advocates habitat restoration for human-elephant coexistence

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, March 27: A consultation hosted by the biodiversity conservation organisation Aaranyak, in collaboration with the Tinsukia Press Club, focused on ‘biodiversity conservation and human-wildlife coexistence’. Held in the premises of the press club, the consultation unanimously agreed that resolving the raging problem of human-elephant conflict (HEC) in eastern Assam areas lies in restoring habitats and migration corridors.

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While appreciating the mass awareness drive on human-elephant coexistence, the formation of an early warning network called Rapid Response Units (RRU) in HEC-affected areas, and initiatives for installing solar fences undertaken by Aaranyak in certain areas of eastern Assam districts like Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Majuli, Sivasagar, and Jorhat, the consultation acknowledged that while these temporary measures would help mitigate HEC, the ultimate solution could be achieved only through habitat restoration for elephants and establishing migration corridors.

The research-based biodiversity conservation organisation Aaranyak, in collaboration with the British Asian Trust and with support from the Darwin Initiative, co-hosted the interaction with the media at the Tinsukia Press Club. The objective was to enlighten the media about Aaranyak’s ongoing community-driven efforts for HEC mitigation through coexistence.

Aaranyak’s wildlife biologist Rubul Tanti delivered a detailed presentation on Aaranyak’s initiatives for HEC mitigation, highlighting the success achieved so far and outlining the roadmap for the future.

Aaranyak’s publicity secretary Bijay Sankar Bora emphasised the role of media as a catalyst in Aaranyak’s efforts for achieving coexistence in HEC hotspots, underscoring the media’s importance in advocating for biodiversity conservation and habitat restoration issues at this crucial juncture for the animal kingdom.

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Aaranyak’s senior official Zakir Islam Bora provided an overview of the organisation’s structure, operations, and missions during his presentation, shedding light on the 34-year-old organisation.

Earlier, Aaranyak official Rimpee Moran set the tone for the interaction by explaining the broad objective of the program, with support from another Aaranyak staff member Ejaj Ahmed, who played a key role in conducting the program.

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