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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Assam Environmental NGO Forum urges Government to strengthen wildlife conservation in Assam

Assam Environmental NGO Forum organised a press meet at Guwahati Press Club on February 13 to express its concern on the unabated killing of rhinos and other wild animals in the state. Addressing the media personnel, Mubina Akhtar, noted nature lover and coordinator cum spokesperson of Assam Environmental NGO Forum mentioned that killing of 9 rhinos in first 35 days of this year is triggering serious concern and as such sincere efforts need to be given to check further poaching. Replying to the queries from the media, Mubina Akhtar, coordinator and spokesperson of the forum declared that Forum would arrange sending of 5000 posters to PM India by children of Assam to give priority in the matter of putting an end to poaching of rhino, tiger or wild elephant. The forum statement expressed its displeasure with regards to not awarding the Karbi Anglong Police team in the republic day for their excellent efforts to nab rhino poachers in past few months. The statement also skeptical about the proper use of SLR rifles given to forest protection force to strengthen protection and vigil in Kaziranga to protect rhinos and other animals as seven rhinos were poached in and around Kaziranga in past few weeks even after over 150 forest protection force personals with SLR rifles were sent to Kaziranga to fight against poachers. In the press meet, the NGOs present while endorsing the official statement of the forum also added their own view point on current rhino poaching issues. Bibhab Talukdar of Aranyak also expressed serious concern at the increasing killing of rhinos in the so called most protected National Parks of the world. He welcomed state amendment to Wildlife Protection Act but at the same time cautioned the government to ensure proper implementation of Wildlife Protection Assam Amendment 2009 also asked the state government to appoint new rangers and other frontline staffs to boost actual protection in the field. Soumyadeep Dutta of Nature's Beckon made renewed demand for CBI enquiry to rhino poaching cases. Jayanta Kumar Das of Green Society,Udalguri mentioned that government and media had been giving all attention to Kaziranga and Manas national parks there by neglecting other Wildlife Sanctuaries or Reserve Forests. He requested government to involve local people in the line of VDP services to stop poaching and illegal tree felling. Sujit Bairagi of Dolphin Foundation requested government to involve BTC and Karbi autonomous councils in the process of controlling poaching of rhino,wild elephant and tigers. The press meet was also addressed by Debananda Borah of Early Birds and Raj Phukan of Green Guard.

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