GUWAHATI, Sept 9 - Established as a nature club in a city neighbourhood, Aaranyak has completed 30 years of its existence as a nature conservation organisation, growing into a full-fledged scientific research organisation.
Starting with advocacy for policy reforms to save the endangered white-winged wood-duck, the State bird of Assam in Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Aaranyak had filed a petition to stop leasing out of fisheries inside the protected area. The PIL filed by Aaranyak led to the cancellation of the fishing lease by the government and since then no further fisheries were ever leased out inside the State’s protected areas.
To mark its 30th anniversary, Aaranyak conducted a programme today that included its foundation day lecture on the topic ‘Climate Change and India’s Sustainable Development Pathway’, delivered by Dr Akhilesh Gupta, senior scientist in the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India and an expert on climate change and sustainable development.
The Lifetime Contribution Award instituted last year was conferred on Dr Gautam Narayan, a reputed conservation scientist best known for his work on conservation of the pigmy hog in Assam.
Two books published by Aaranyak, Legends of Hollongapar, a coffee-table book on the Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary by Udayan Borthakur and Aaranyak at 30, a green voyage highlighting the 30-year journey of Aaranyak, compiled and edited by Bibhab Kumar Talukdar and Bijay Sankar Bora were released by the dignitaries.
A panel discussion on ‘Challenges and prospects of protecting and conserving vultures in Assam’, was held in which Dr Anwaruddin Choudhury, wildlife expert and Dr. Sachin Ranade, vulture expert and scientist from Bombay Natural History Society, participated. It was moderated by Dr Anirban Roy, Editor-in-Chief of Northeast Now.
An exhibition of 30 photographs showing Aaranyak’s journey along with a display of its publications was also held.