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Eco-friendly stoves to preserve biodiversity

Villagers with eco-cylindrical stoves. – Correspondent
 IMPHAL, Jan 17 - In a move to provide sustainable alternative livelihood to the local community to reduce their dependency on forests resources as well as to sensitise them on biodiversity conservation, 50 eco-cylindrical stoves were given to the villagers of Azuram and Dailong in Tamenglong district of Manipur.

The eco-cylindrical stoves, which are environment friendly, were provided under a yearlong initiative titled Systematic Rejuvenation of Indigenous Jungles and Nature (SRIJAN) of The Corbett Foundation (TCF), which is supported by Axis Bank Foundation.

Programme officer of TCF Mordecai Panmei said that the eco-friendly stoves were give to 50 households in Azuram and Dailong villages.

In October 2019, 40 bee boxes were distributed in these villages apart from taking up large-scale plantation of the local tree species with the involvement of the community, said Panmei. Awareness programmes on forest and wildlife conservation are also being conducted in schools and villages.

According to the Indian State of Forest Report 2019, Manipur suffered a loss of 499 sq km forest cover, which was highest in the Northeast.

Among all districts of the State, Tamenglong lost 108.5 sq km forest cover after Churachandpur which lost maximum 250 sq km forest cover.

Of the State’s total loss of 499 sq km forest cover, 491 sq km is in the hill districts.

On the other hand, forest department sources said that Manipur has also lost 784 sq km bamboo cover between 2017 and 2019. Tamenglong is known to be Manipur’s bamboo belt.

Since the eco-cylindrical stove use 50 per cent less firewood compared to conventional stove used by the villagers, it will substantially reduce their dependency on forest firewood, said the TCF functionary who is also a member of Rainforest Club Tamenglong.

The SRIJAN project will assess the impact of the eco-friendly stoves in reducing fuelwood consumption, he said, adding that 100 families were in the process of switching over to the new stoves.

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