As part of nationwide celebrations on the occasion of World Environment Day under the aegis of Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt. of India, the Institute organized following two programmes:
Awareness program on 1st June 2011 at Mana
Wildlife Institute of India organized an awareness program in collaboration with the 127 Infantry Division, Ecological, Indian Army on 1st June 2011 at Mana, the last Indian village bordering China. This was a unique celebration organized in biting cold and drizzle, which of course could succeed in stalling landing of the helicopter bringing Chief Ministers of Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh but did not succeed in dampening the spirit of the 400 people gathered there.
The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, who could not travel to Mana due inclement weather, addressed the gathering via mobile telephone. The 10 million and 1 plant of Bhoj Patra, which once was abundant in the area, was planted by the local MLA. Director, WII also planted a sapling of local species. The ladies and the children of Mana village participated in a drawing competition. A puppet show titled “Ped na Kato” (Do not cut trees) was organized for the jawans and their families. An exhibition on ‘Biodiversity of Uttarakhand’ was also put up as part of the celebration.
The celebration at Mana brought all the stakeholders on one platform – the people, government agencies and the policy makers. Forging of such partnerships augurs well for our efforts towards a greener and cleaner environment.
Workshop on ‘Emerging Issues in Wildlife Conservation’
A workshop on ‘Emerging Issues in Wildlife Conservation’ was conducted on June 5, 2011 at the Institute campus. Padma Vibhushan Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna Ji, Leader of Chipko Movement, was the Chief Guest on this occasion. Ms. Susanne Bech, Associate Programme Officer, UNEP, Nairobi also attended the workshop and briefed the participants about the UNEP’s programmes. A total of 60 participants, of which 27 (representing 15 NGOs and civil societies of Uttarakhand), WII faculty members, students, researchers and officer trainees attended the workshop.
Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna underlined the need for improving green cover in terms of quality in Himalayan State of Uttarakhand. Towards achieving this goal, he emphasized the need for planting of native trees and exclusion of exotics. He also talked about the growing biotic pressure on the forests and precarious status of its wild denizens. Terming the wild animal as - human conflict as right for survival by wild animals, whose natural habitat has been usurped by mankind, he called upon to be parsimonious in use of natural resources. Nature doesn’t have capacity to sustain ‘greed’ of humans. It has enough for need of all, he said.
The objectives of the workshop were: (i) To provide a comprehensive understanding of Biodiversity Conservation issues in India; (ii) Building capacity for effective and sustained participation of Civil Society Organisations/ NGOs in biodiversity conservation; and (iii) To have a platform to examine how civil society can contribute to biodiversity conservation.
Shri B.C. Choudhury, Scientist ‘G’, WII spoke on man-animal conflict issue as lead speaker. Smt. Savita, Principal, CASFS addressed the gathering on the role of civil society in conservation as lead speaker. Thereafter, the participants were divided into two groups to deliberate upon the two identified topics above. They provided local perspective on both the issues and came out with their report, which was presented before the full house. The workshop has been able to identify areas of cooperation between the Civil Society Groups and the Forest Department for future action. The detailed outcome of the workshop is under finalization for wider dissemination.