GUWAHATI, Oct 6 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today gave a clarion call to all stakeholders to take a pledge to protect and sustain the awesome wonders of Assam’s wildlife.
Speaking at a programme organised to observe Wildlife Week 2018 at Srimanta Sankaradeva International Auditorium here today, Sonowal said, “Assam has the proud privilege of sustaining a verdant wild life in its cradle. However, trespassing into the territory of wildlife by vested interests, including poachers, has put the wildlife population in peril.”
He, therefore, asked the conservationists, people in general, students and government machinery to put up an united effort to create a protective shield for the wildlife.
He hailed the role of forest guards, conservationists and the people living in the fringe districts, namely Biswanath, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Golaghat and Karbi Anglong of Kaziranga National Park, for bringing down the poaching cases and considerable rise in the population of rhinos and other wildlife in the State.
The Chief Minister also said that Assam has a rich reserve of bio-diversity and there should be well coordinated and concerted efforts to preserve its rich bio-diversity.
He also asked the Environment and Forest Department to organise awareness rallies in all parts of the State to sensitize the people and motivate them to protect and promote the rich bio-diversity of the State.
Referring to man-animal conflict which is essentially attributed to the shrinkage of habitats and food of animals, Sonowal said that occasions like Wildlife Week should strive to generate awareness and lend capacity building by taking some pragmatic steps to spearhead the people’s efforts for the protection of animals and their habitats.
Sonowal also said that Assam has etched its name worldwide for the famous one- horn rhinoceros and if the State wants to continue to have its name in the parlance of wildlife tourism its flora and fauna resources have to be preserved at all costs.
Sonowal said that government is preparing an all-inclusive roadmap for projecting Assam as one of the most beautiful and exotic tourist destinations and he appealed to all to extend their cooperation to make the government's effort a success.
He also acknowledged the untiring efforts of three brand ambassadors of Assam forests – Jadav Payeng, Chandra Kanta Basumatary and Ananda Khataniar – for their immense contribution in wildlife preservation.
Sonowal also distributed prizes to school students for participating in art competitions synchronising with the occasion.
Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya also spoke on the occasion.
The programme, which was organised by Environment and Forest Department, was also attended by Member of Parliament Pradan Baruah, MLA Ranoj Pegu, Ramakanta Deuri, Terosh Gowala, Bolin Chetia, Additional Chief Secretary Ravi Capoor, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests SK Srivastava, along with a host of dignitaries.