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| Last Updated:: 06/10/2016

Students run for Red Panda conservation










Around 200 students from 10 schools of Tawang have come together and ran for Red Panda conservation in Tawang Wednesday.


Tawang Deputy Commissioner Sang Phuntsok flagged off “run for the Red Panda” marathon race organized as part of wildlife week celebration aimed at generating public awareness on Red Panda conservation.


The programme was jointly organized by World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature (WWF-India) and Environmental Protection Society of Tawang in collaboration with the district administration of Tawang.


High latitude temperate forests of Arunachal Pradesh harbour some of the charismatic animals including the fire-cats, ‘the Red Panda’. It is estimated that area of around 23,000 sq km of temperate forests of the state are known to be potential Red Panda habitat. But, the current status of Red Panda population and the habitats are yet to be assessed systematically. Ironically, in many instances, it shows, however. a declining population trend, WWF-India stated in a release.


There are also loss of Red Panda habitats in Arunachal Pradesh due to rapid unplanned infrastructure growth and rapid deforestation. This threat is expected to even accelerate with future developments and linear projects, said Western Arunachal Landscape Conservation Programme, WWF-India’s Landscape Coordinator Kamal Medhi.


Therefore, there is a need to discuss conservation issues with various stakeholders to find a solution.


The programme mainly aims to create a platform to educate young minds of the district on the need for conservation and their roles, he said. “The Forest Department is always committed to take action for biodiversity conservation of the region and young people like you could function as ‘eyes and ears’ for the department” the DFO Tawang added.


More than half of the district is covered with pristine forest and high latitude lakes which are crucial ecosystem and catchment of two major rivers– the Tawang chu and the Kameng river, are lifeline for the people of Tawang and downstream. Conservation of forest and other forms of ecosystems in this region will maintain ecological balance and support livelihood for the people of the region.


“Every ecosystem and species has a role to play in the nature,” said DC Tawang.
He also talked about how forest plays a vital role on carbon sink and air purification.
Arunachal Pradesh, also known as “lungs of the country” has more than 81% of forests cover.



More than half of the forest belongs to the local community in the state and hence, the community’s participation in conservation is very crucial.


WWF-India has been promoting community-conserved areas in West Kameng and Tawang districts to secure some of the rich biodiversity in the districts and address local livelihood needs through participatory dialogues and consensus.


The community conservation model in Tawang district has secured more than 25,000 ha forests among which most of them are crucial Red Panda habitat. This effort is however tip of the iceberg. It needs conscious effort of government of Arunachal Pradesh to bring community friendly conservation policy and ensure people’s participation to secure natural resources in the state.







Source:  The Arunachal Times