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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Project to enable human-elephant coexistence flagged off in Dibrugarh

The project has been taken up in collaboration with the British Asian Trust and support from Darwin Initiative in Eastern Assam districts to enable human-elephant coexistence.

GUWAHATI:

A three-year-long project for human-elephant coexistence taken up by leading environmental organisation Aaranyak, was flagged off with an inception workshop organised in Dibrugarh on August 5.

The project has been taken up in collaboration with the British Asian Trust and support from Darwin Initiative in Eastern Assam districts to enable human-elephant coexistence.

Assam, which is the stronghold of Asian elephants, has seen an increase in human-elephant conflict incidents in recent times which has led to both humans and animals suffering alike in the form of crop and property damage, loss of human lives and retaliatory killing of the elephants, which is undermining the conservation efforts to safeguard the species and human well-being.

This has prompted Aaranyak to consistently work to mitigate human-elephant conflict throughout the Northeast.

Across Assam, the Elephant Research and Conservation Division of Aaranyak has adopted multifaceted approaches to mitigate conflicts with elephants. Over the last few years, the organisation has established several solar-powered fences throughout Assam, which have proven extremely effective in enabling coexistence with these gentle giants.

During the workshop, the participants from Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Jorhat and Majuli actively took part and shared their thoughts and potential measures to resolve human-elephant conflict (HEC).

Dr Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, a senior scientist with Aaranyak, presented a talk on the current HEC scenario in the state and highlighted that by educating local communities, supplementing livelihood and providing mitigation tools, Aaranyak plans to enable coexistence.

Dr Alolika Sinha, Aaranyak’s conservationist, conducted the workshop, while Dr Dilip Chetry moderated the open discussion session. It was attended by officials from different government agencies, such as the forest department, agriculture department, local NGOs, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Gyan Vani Radio Station, Dibrugarh University faculty and students, faculties of Digboi College, Dibru College, Gargaon College and local conservationists among others.

The organisation looks forward to working with the multi-stakeholders to achieve the goals of promoting coexistence.

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