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Varsity workshop on forest conservation

Jorhat, March 10: The Assam Rajiv Gandhi University of Co-operative Management in Sivasagar has brought in the expertise of naturalist Asad Rahmani, director of Bombay Natural History Society, to instil in its students a sense of conservation of forests, as part of the institute’s forest management course.

Rahmani today conducted a workshop on Bird Census: Techniques and Studies on the university premises.

The Bombay Natural History Society is one of the second-largest organisations in the world engaged in research on endangered species and conservation of nature and natural resources.

Rahmani — who has 15 books on birds to his credit, including threatened birds of India and threatened birds of Assam — said it was important for students to be interested in birds.

“Groups of students and youths together can collect data better than individuals. Conservation of different bird species is part of the conservation of nature and forests,” he said.

The vice-chancellor of the university, Rafiquz Zaman, said the workshop was attended by students and teachers of schools and colleges of Sivasagar district, apart from the students and faculty of the university.

The deliberation consisted of three parts — Migration of Birds, Bird-Watching Tips and The Amur Falcon Story.

The renowned ornithologist said the Amur Falcon Story was an initiative of Bombay Natural History Society to conserve Amur falcons in collaboration with the government of Nagaland.

“The initiative ‘Friends of Amur Falcons’, was a success story in protecting the Amur falcons in Nagaland,” he said.

Rahmani added that to keep the students interested in birds was just the first step towards creating awareness on conserving nature.

“Assam has the highest diversity of birds — more than 950 varieties. It is necessary to teach the students how to monitor and collect data properly,” he said.

Zaman said the workshop was informative and interesting as it provided facts and figures on migration of birds in India and the world.

“The tips on watching birds provided all the requisite information for the amateur birdwatchers and the students present. Bird watching and conservation is part of the greater ecological sustenance. By developing a love of birds in students we also instil in them a love for the trees and thereby, the whole ecology which sustains them,” he said.

Zaman added that villages residing on the fringes could also work together to obstruct those who destroyed trees and other forest wealth. “A whole group working in co-operation could do wonders in forest management,” he said.