Forest dwellers have great responsibility in conserving environment: Minister Awangbou Newmai

A one-day workshop on the role of village authorities in the nature conservation, restoration of Jhum areas, protection of hornbill habitat and others was held at Tamei on September 10.

No superpower or the state chief minister can control the gradual increase of heat in the forest, but the people who dwell in the forest have the great responsibility to control the environment, Forest Environment and Climate Change Minister Awangbou Newmai said in Tamei.

“No super power country like the United States or the Prime Minister of India or the state chief minister can control the gradual increase of heat in the forest. The people who dwell in the forest have the great responsibility to control the environment to get fresh air. It is our duty to protect the forest where there are uncountable medicinal plants with rich flora and fauna,” Newmai said while speaking as chief guest at a one-day workshop on the role of village authorities in the nature conservation, restoration of Jhum areas, protection of hornbill habitat and others at Tamei on September 10.

The workshop was organised by Nature Learning Centre, Forest department of Manipur under National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.

Chairman of Tamei Village Authority, Adin Abonmai attended the workshop as guest of honour while chief conservator of Forest, Government of Manipur, W Yaiskul attended as president. Forest officer of Tamenglong Division District, Kh Hitler Singh also shared the dais where hundreds of village chairmen and secretaries of Tamei areas attended the first ever workshop.

Awangbou Newmai has urged all the village chairmen and secretaries of Tamei area to take resolution to identify and set ‘community reserve forest’, though all the villages may not get assistance from the government. He said that he had picked up five villages from the Tamei area for forestry.

Village chairman should identify the land for farming, Jhum cultivation and also identify suitable land community reserve forest, he added.

“Forest department often informs people to plant a tree sapling in place of one cut down tree, but no one consider the advice seriously and the main motive behind the plantation. Instead, people only think about not being caught and means to escape to be not in jail if they cut trees or kill wild animals,” said Awangbou.

“Forest department will never take away your forest or land, but will help you to protect your forest and environment from which you will get fresh air, water and uncountable forest products,” he added.

He also informed that at least 2480 square kilometres of forest are reduced every year. If the dying of trees continues for another 10 years, all the forests in the state will vanish and consequently, there will be a lack of fresh air in the region. He continued that he is preparing a policy to control Jhum cultivation in the state and will be introduced in the next cabinet session.

The Policy and Regulation Act will not only help Tamenglong district but it will benefit the entire state, added Awangbou.

First Published:Sept. 12, 2020, 7:31 a.m.

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