Focus on protection, preservation and sustainable mgmt of faunal and floral diversity: Natung

ITANAGAR, Oct 27: Environment & Forests Minister Mama Natung said that the department should continue its focus on protection, preservation and sustainable management of the state’s faunal and floral diversity.

He also laid emphasis on research prospects in the state.

The minister said this during a review meeting with the divisional forest officers and senior officers of the environment & forests department in Itanagar on Tuesday.

In his maiden address to the officers after taking charge of the department, Natung asked all the divisional forest officers to be more vigilant, proactive and exemplary public servants.

“Arunachal Pradesh is endowed with ‘nature-culture’ legacy, for which participation of local stakeholders is crucial to carry out conservation practices in the state,” he said, adding that, owing to Arunachal’s exceptional biodiversity, the state receives the highest devolution share due to its forest cover.

Speaking about the recent e-launch of the red list assessment of orchids of Arunachal in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, he expressed happiness that Arunachal, with more than 600 orchid species, would be on the global orchid map. Arunachal is also tagged as the ‘Orchid Paradise in India’.

The minister released ‘A field manual on nursery management and cultivation of Paris polyphylla (satwa) and Tinospora cordifolia (giloe)’ and a leaflet on ‘Sustainable harvest protocol of selected medicinal plants of Arunachal Pradesh’.

Advisor to the Minister, Kumsi Sidisow, emphasized on “developing a roadmap on ecotourism and commercialization of orchids and medicinal plants for economic uplift of the public.”

MLA Hayeng Mangfi stressed that “plantations should be one of the prime focus to be taken up through CAMPA funds.”

PCCF RK Singh said that the department is short of human resources both at the administrative and the field level. “Over the last few decades, there has been no additional creation of posts of forest guard to range forest officer level, whereas the department has created more than 12 divisions in the last 10 years,” he said.

He further said that the annual financial provision from the state budget is too meagre, and that the department is running with less than one percent of the state grant from the Centre.

“The sudden drop after the 13th finance commission has rendered the department without regeneration and plantations in the field,” he said.