Forest department alone cannot protect the forest. It has to work together with civil voluntary organisations, Tamenglong district forest officer Kh Hitler Singh said.
Hitler was speaking as chief guest at a one-way workshop on the role of civil bodies in promoting practices which promote management of natural resources at Tamenglong district headquarters.
"The traditional practice of jhuming cultivation followed by hill dwellers is understandable but if anyone wants to cut trees, the department concerned must be consulted. The forest areas where endangered animals inhabit should not be cut down," he stated.
Hitler also said that due to peoples' involvement in preserving and protecting Amur falcons, their meat is no longer found in the market.
Now, many villages have applied for approval of community forest, he said, adding under the community forest, the villagers have to identify agricultural lands. At such community forests, villagers may plant valuable tree saplings and plants, he said. The government will provide funds for maintaining the forest and land development, he said, adding Dailong village and Chiuluan village are under the process of being approved as a community reserved forest.
The workshop was organised by Nature Learning Centre, Forest department, government of Manipur under National Mission on Himalayan studies, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Panmei further said that due to excessive deforestation, spring water sources have dried up and the water in Barak River is also reducing.
The government of Manipur had established three wildlife sanctuaries including Zeilad wildlife sanctuary, Jiribam wildlife sanctuary and Bunning wildlife sanctuary since 1997 but not implemented anything to preserve them. Civil bodies and the Forest department need to work together to preserve and protect the many beautiful natural resources in the district for future generations, he added.
Rongmei Naga Council Manipur president Ramkung attended the workshop as function president. Evironmentalist, member Board of wildlife Manipur Salem Rajesh, Rain Forest Club Tamenglong director Mordecai Panmei also spoke as resource persons at the occasion.