International Day for Biological Diversity, 2014

The International Day for Biological Diversity-2014 was celebrated by Arunachal Pradesh Biodiversity Board, Itanagar with the financial support from National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai.  The programme was held at D. Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary, Borguli, Pasighat with the theme “Island Biodiversity”. The D. Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary is large alluvial grassland comprises of several river island formed between river Siang and Sibia. The significance of the sanctuary is that it is the only sanctuary of its kind in Arunachal Pradesh. The item wise programme of the celebration is as follows;

Trekking in the Sanctuary: Trekking programme inside the sanctuary was conducted in the morning session. The BMC Chairman and Member from other districts of the state show special interest in the trekking. Pugmarks of different wildlife species were observed during trekking. The DFO of the Sanctuary Mr. Tashi Mize brief the participants about the wildlife and its management in the sanctuary. D. Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary being an island sanctuary the participants enters the sanctuary with the help of small diesel engine boat maintained by sanctuary authority. The trekking inside the sanctuary was arranged to give firsthand experience about the wildlife from close range to the participants.  

                                      Trekking team in D. Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary

  Inaugural session of IDB-2014: The programme was held in a Borguli village adjacent to the D. Ering Memorial Wildlife sanctuary.  More than 300 representatives of Eco-development Committees constituted in the fringe villages of the Island Sanctuary, village Heads, NGO’s, BMC representatives from other districts, Scholars, officials of the sanctuary and the elected representatives of  village Panchayat and Zila parishad attended the programme. The Addl. Deputy Commissioner of East Siang district Mr. Rajesh Panyang attending the programme as Chief Guest instructed the local bodies to check illegal activities like hunting of wildlife within their jurisdiction. He requested the village authorities to coordinate with the district administration as well as Forest department in safeguarding the biodiversity. The Divisional Forest Officer of the sanctuary Mr. Tashi Mize, in his impressive speech, said that plants and animals are the source of human survival. Every living creatures found in the surrounding have role in the ecosystem as they are confined to an interrelation. Terming the forest officials as “chowkidar” of the forest resources, the DFO lamented that the local people, who are said to be owner of the resources have not taken keen interest for their protection. The village heads, representatives of NGO’s and many other participants speak on the occasion and assure to play pivotal role in Biodiversity conservation.

                                                           Inaugural session of IDB-2014

     Signing on the pledge for life: A high resolution banner with the title “Pledge for life” was installed in the hall. The participant of the programme signed in the pledge to promote conservation and sustainable management of biological resources, to ensure life on earth is secure and safe and to educate people on the benefits of conservation, use and benefit sharing actions.

                                                   Participants signing on Biodiversity pledge

   Release of stickers on State Flora and Fauna: In the inaugural session the Chief Guest releases four stickers on State Flora and Fauna. The stickers were on the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh, the Hollock Gibbon; State bird of Arunachal Pradesh, the great Indian Hornbill (Buceros bicornis); State flower of Arunachal Pradesh, the foxtail orchid (Rhynchostylis retusa) and State fish of Arunachal Pradesh, the Golden Mahseer (Tor putitora). The stickers were distributed to all the participants.

                                     Chief Guest releasing the stickers on state flora and fauna

    Group discussion on Biodiversity Management Committee: The post lunch session started with the discussion on formation of Biodiversity Management Committees. Dr. Kenjum Bagra, of the State Biodiversity Board narrated in detail about the BMC. Participating in the discussion, the DFO of the sanctuary, Mr. Tashi Mize proposed for a separate meeting with village Panchayat for BMC formation. The house agreed on his proposal and accordingly a tentative programme for the meeting at Panchayat level was worked out.

                                   Dr. Kenjum Bagra initiating the Group discussion on BMC

    Technical session: The technical session received wide attention from the participants. Dr. Senpe Taipodia a Medical officer of the nearby hospital briefed on the wild medicinal plants available in the region and its importance. He opined that routine intake of these medicinal plant will keep them healthy. He advises to conserve the medicinal plants for future generation. Mr. Hari Loyi, a faculty in Botany from J.N. College Pasighat dwelt detail about impact of hunting. He suggested for a change in the pattern of ritualistic hunting. Dr. Kento Kadu, faculty in Zoology from J.N. College Pasighat presented the aquatic life scenario of the state. He discussed on the unique aquatic life of the D. Ering Memorial Wildlife sanctuary. Mr. Temin Payum, a faculty in Botany from J.N. College Pasighat with his audio visual presentation illustrated how a downsizing of a single species affects the entire food web. Dr. Kenjum Bagra of State Biodiversity Board speaks on the traditional biodiversity conservation and the Biodiversity, Act. Impressive lectures and audio visual presentation by the resource person convinced the participants to pledge to devote some of their time for Biodiversity conservation. 

                                                   Resource persons during technical session        
Display of poster: Banner bearing slogan on Biodiversity conservation was displayed in every corner of Pasighat town and on the way to D. Ering Memorial Wildlife sanctuary, Borguli the celebration site. Posters on various wildlife species were displayed in the celebration hall that makes local people curious knowing its habitat and conservation management.