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Arunachal NGO bags biodiversity award

Bugun liocichla
 ITANAGAR, May 23 - The Singchung Bugun Village Community Reserve (VCR), an NGO based at the Ramangam Forest Camp, Singchung, under West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, has bagged the National Biodiversity Award in recognition of its effort towards conserving rare wildlife resources.

The NGO, which has been cooperating with the Forest Department since 2016 to protect and conserve the 17-sq km area of Singchung Bugun VCR in the vicinity of the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary in West Kameng district, bagged the first prize for its unique conservation endeavour.

The National Biodiversity Authority, an independent biodiversity organisation, honoured the NGO by awarding a citation, a memento and a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh at a ceremony held in Hyderabad on Tuesday. Indi Glow and Sange Norbu Phiang, the leaders of the NGO, received the award on behalf of the organisation.

The Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, which measures about 217 sq km, boasts of a rich biodiversity, considered second only to the Andes in South America. It is also known for the Bugun liocichla, a bird found only there at present.

Rich in both flora and fauna with 545 species of birds and various species of plants and animals, the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, which was notified in October 1989 after bifurcating the Doimara Reserve Forest, got further prominence with the discovery of the Bugun liocichla by Dr Ramana Athreya. The sanctuary currently attracts the attention of nature lovers from all around the world.

Considering the importance of involving the local community in the conservation process, the Forest Department under the initiative of the DFO of Rupa Forest Division, Millo Tassar, persuaded the Bugun community to partner in a unique conservation model under which their community forest covering an area of 17 sq km and abutting the sanctuary is being managed jointly by the department and the local people.

Started in 2016, the project has become a highly successful model following which the community organises ecotourism camps for visitors and researchers every year and gainfully employs the local community members. The entire sanctuary is efficiently protected under the joint management committee.

Asked for his comments, DFO Tassar said: “I believe this prestigious award to the NGO will encourage them to work harder for conserving environment.”

He added that the award had not been given to any society in the State earlier and so this was a great achievement for the Bugun community as well as the State as a whole.

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