‘All states should emulate Arunachal’s Airgun Surrender Abhiyan’

Itanagar: Union Minister for environment, forest and climate change Bhupender Yadav has called upon all the states of the country to emulate the ‘Airgun Surrender Abhiyan’ of the Arunachal Pradesh government.

Yadav who took part in the campaign at the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Pakke Kessang district on Saturday took to twitter to share his appreciation for the initiative.

“Participated in the Air Gun Surrender Abhiyan at Pakke Tiger Reserve of Arunachal. Within a year of this community and compassion driven programme, the state has witnessed a surrender of over 2,200 hundred Air Guns. I urge all state govts to take up the #AirGunSurrender Abiyan,” the union minister said in a tweet.

More than 80 airguns were surrendered by the locals on the day.

The Airgun Surrender campaign is an initiative of the state’s environment and forest department to dissuade wildlife hunting and create awareness on the ill-effects of killing wildlife.

The movement is spearheaded by Arunachal’s forest and environment minister Mama Natung.

Yadav, along with minister of state for environment and forest Ashwini Kumar Choubey and chief minister Pema Khandu also took part in the 20th meeting of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) at the Pakke Tiger Reserve on the day.

Addressing the sitting, the union minister called for active participation from locals for conservation and development of forest areas and tiger reserves across the country.

“We should promote our tiger reserves which have immense flora and fauna and at the same time also ensure the livelihoods of the people dependent on forests,” he said.

The union minister also stressed on conducting “meetings with all stakeholders including forest officials who deal with different issues, local villagers, experts, students for the same.”

Chief Minister Khandu thanked the union minister for highlighting the changing paradigms in wildlife conservation.

“We cannot protect our forest by keeping the local community away from it, but by engaging them,” he said.

This was the first meeting of the NTCA to be held outside the national capital. In order to get first hand information about reserve, local issues, etc. the Union Minister had directed that henceforth these meetings will be held either in forest areas or tiger reserves of the country.

Yadav on the occasion also released the standard operating procedure for tiger reintroduction and supplementation in wild, forest fire audit protocol for tiger reserves, technical manual on Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Tiger reserves in India prepared by the NTCA.

India harbors about 70% of the world’s tiger population in the wild.

Among others, state forest and environment minister Mama Natung, his advisor and Thrizino-Buragaon MLA Kimsi Sidisow and chief secretary Naresh Kumar were present in the meeting. (With inputs from PIB)

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