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Village-level community surveillance against WL crimes initiated in NE India

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HT Bureau
GUWAHATI, Nov 3: In a pioneering effort, region’s premier biodiversity
conservation organisation Aaranyak has formed Community Surveillance and
Monitoring Teams (CSMT) in some villages in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
as part of an initiative to elicit proactive community cooperation in monitoring
and checking wildlife crimes that pose grave threat to biodiversity
conservation efforts.

These specialized community-dominant teams function in fringe villages
around notified wildlife protection areas, monitoring the grey markets of illegal
wildlife products and tracking wildlife trade through known and potential
routes.
They also organise community awareness and sensitisation campaigns for
wildlife conservation. These teams have been trained to maintain efficient
communication and relay information related to wildlife crimes to relevant
authorities for prompt follow up actions.
They also collaborate with local media personnel to raise mass awareness
about the danger posed to biodiversity by wildlife crimes so as to motivate the
public to contribute towards wildlife conservation.
The CSMTs in Arunachal will mainly focus on protection of the treasure trove
of wildlife of D’Ering Wildlife Sanctuary which faces many challenges like illegal
hunting and logging.
In Manipur, the CSMT will be focused in and around the area of Dailong
Biodiversity Heritage site in Tamenglong district. The Manipur Government in
the last week of May 2017 had declared Dailong village of Tamenglong district
as a Biodiversity Heritage Site.
As of date, CSMTs in Arunachal have been formed in eight villages of Pasighat
in Arunachal Pradesh and six villages in Tamenglong district of Manipur.
The CSMT team comprises people from different sectors like village councils,
eco-development societies, biodiversity boards, local NGOs and students’
body’s representatives.
Along with close monitoring and surveillance, the CSMT are expected to keep a
close eye on the wildlife trade routes. This important information will be
channeled to the appropriate authorities for further action. In addition to their
contributions to the general cause of conservation in their assigned
landscapes, the CSMTs will also conduct regular awareness programmes on
special environmental and wildlife days throughout the year.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://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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