Workshop on man-elephant conflict

A three-day workshop on the Garo Hills Elephant Reserve Action Plan, that began here today, discussed the increasing man-animal conflict in Meghalaya's Garo hills.

By Saidul Khan
  • Published 24.02.16
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Tura, Feb. 23: A three-day workshop on the Garo Hills Elephant Reserve Action Plan, that began here today, discussed the increasing man-animal conflict in Meghalaya's Garo hills.

South West Garo Hills deputy commissioner Ram Singh, said 124 cases of man-animal conflict were recorded in the district last year.

Singh urged the department concerned to sensitise the public on the issue.

A m#ember of the academic council, Wildlife Institute of India, Tony Marak, said there was a need to sensitise stakeholders to regulate and minimise the use of forestland for human habitation and agricultural use, especially in areas with elephant corridors.

On man-animal conflict mitigation measures, Marak said, "Human habitation and agriculture in forest areas should be regulated."

He added that unregulated human habitation and cultivation in forest areas had disturbed the ecology of Garo hills and led to the man-animal conflict.

Recalling his past experiences during his service in Meghalaya, he said, "Sightings of elephants were a daily affair. They are hardly to be seen these days. The number of elephants in Garo hills has dwindled. There are reports of increasing man-animal conflict, which calls for a need to sensitise the people."

Marak called upon the stakeholders to co-operate and preserve the beautiful landscape and environment of the area, paving the way to create a conducive atmosphere for the preservation of elephants in Garo hills.

Among others who spoke at the workshop were C. Budnah, the principal chief conservator of forests and head of the forest force, Meghalaya, and Ron Chandler, the president and co-founder of the Conservation Initiative for Asian Elephants, US.

Wildlife experts and scientists of international repute presented their views during the technical session.

The workshop will also discuss and design a concrete action plan to save the elephants.

Officials and staff of the department, nokmas (village chiefs) of different villages and representatives of various bio-diversity management committees of Garo hills are also participating in this workshop.