Peren district stakeholders seek solutions to human-animal conflicts

Peren district stakeholders seek solutions to human-animal conflicts

Intanki National Park and the Peren Forest Division organised a stakeholder meeting on 3 May 2024, at Jalukie, Peren, to discuss sustainable solutions for mitigating human-animal conflicts.

The event brought together representatives from affected villages, civil society organisations, and the police department.

Conservator of Forests Emphasises Empathy and Understanding

Hemant Kamdi Baskar, IFS Conservator of Forests (Hq), highlighted the importance of considering the rights and perspectives of elephants in conflict mitigation strategies.

He drew an intriguing parallel between human addiction to processed foods and elephants’ crop raiding behaviour, suggesting a psychological connection that could promote empathy between the two species.

Baskar also paid homage to Openthung Jami, a dedicated forester who lost his life while assisting the people of Wokha in resolving human-elephant conflicts.

This sombre reminder shed light on the personal sacrifices made by those working diligently to find harmony between humans and wildlife.

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SP Peren Addresses Root Causes and Moral Responsibility

Manish Bharti, IPS, SP Peren, delved into the root causes of human-animal conflicts, attributing them to the encroachment of human activities into animal habitats. He emphasised the moral responsibility of humans, as the dominant species, to protect and accommodate wildlife.

Bharti also touched upon the ongoing debate between development and conservation, urging attendees to prioritise conservation efforts for the well-being of all species.

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NZPO President Provides Historical Context

NZPO President Kevipelie provided a historical context to the discussion, tracing the evolution of Intanki Reserved Forests into a National Park. He highlighted the crucial role played by local communities in the protection and conservation of forests and wildlife, showcasing successful models of community involvement in environmental stewardship.

Field Director Commits to Collaboration and Mitigation Techniques

T Aochuba, IFS, Field Director of Intanki National Park, expressed a strong commitment to collaborating with stakeholders and civil society organisations to mitigate human-animal conflicts.

He presented a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation detailing various mitigation techniques and government policies, including compensation for crop damages and injuries caused by wildlife.

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Serious Discussions and Experience-Sharing Among Participants

The meeting featured serious discussions and experience-sharing among participants, reflecting a collective determination to address the challenges at hand.

The event concluded with a vote of thanks from Peter Jesuha Konyak, signalling a unified approach towards developing effective and sustainable conflict mitigation strategies.

A Critical Step Towards Harmonious Coexistence

This stakeholder meeting marks a crucial step in addressing the complex issue of human-animal conflicts in Peren district. By bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise, the collaborative effort aims to foster a more harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife, ensuring the well-being of both communities and the natural environment they share.

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As conservation efforts continue to evolve, the insights and commitments made during this meeting offer hope for a future where human development and wildlife conservation can thrive side by side.

The path ahead may be challenging, but with empathy, understanding, and a shared sense of responsibility, the people of Peren district are poised to lead the way in creating a more sustainable and equitable world for all.

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