Hoolock gibbon conservation programme STAFF Reporter GUWAHATI, Aug 2 – The Centre for Environment Education (CEE), North East is going to undertake a ‘Site Specific Conservation Education Programme (SSCEP)’ in selected hoolock gibbon sanctuaries of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura involving 20-25 schools together with a local NGO partner forming a cluster. The programme will involve development of gibbon educational packages in the context of the North-east to support classroom teaching-learning and make it more environment-friendly; orientation workshop series for NGOs and teachers to help them effectively carry out implementation of school programmes; year-long school cluster activities; evaluation information and attitudinal changes brought about by the project; thorough pre- and post-project Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) surveys; building up linkages with allied institutions and departments for implementing and sustaining the project. Great Ape Campaigns (GAC) will be organized at nearby selected gibbon reserves with support from the Forest department, emphasizing on community participation and local protected area (PA) management.
“While it is pertinent that the success of conservation lies in protection of endangered species and its habitat, it is also important that the local communities are involved in the process thereby bringing in them a sense of ownership, a sense of pride in forest resources and wildlife in particular, and to ensure that the respect for these does not dilute in the years to come,” the CEE said in a statement, adding that while addressing these issues, the CEE will take into account the basic needs and aspirations of the local populace and engage them in a meaningful partnership for gibbon and its habitat protection.
The apes and related conservation issues in the North-east receive minimal attention compared to the focus and coverage given to other wildlife through various media. Widespread ignorance about gibbon as a flagship species still prevails among the general community.
“The role of various media including print and audio in this regard can significantly contribute to a greater conservation impact. On the other hand, the reduction, removal or other effective addressing of the threats to long-term viability of the great ape population in the wild will require the joint commitments and efforts of the north-eastern States that have within their boundaries any part of range of the great ape,” it said.
The CEE will engage partnerships and contributions made by ‘Primate Research Centre’ (PRC), Gibbon Conservation Centre (GCC), Wildlife Areas Development Trust, Assam, Wildlife Trust of India, Zoo Outreach Organization (ZOO), local NGOs and institutions and allied departments for the project’s success.