A welcome meeting of forest officials

The meeting of senior officers of Arunachal and Assam’s forest departments to strengthen coordination and intelligence-sharing efforts between the two states to check illegal cross-border smuggling of forest products is a welcome move.

Such joint effort will go a long way in curbing the transportation of illegally procured forest produce.

A lot of forest produce is extracted from Arunachal for commercial purposes, which is sold outside the state, exposing the lenient approach of the forest department, the police and the administration in dealing with the issue.

Though some action has been initiated, it is not enough to stop illegal extraction and transportation.

A robust method has to be in place to stop illegal commercialization of the forest produce in the state, for which both the states must come together.

With hundreds of kilometers of shared boundaries, which has often led to conflicts, sometimes deadly, it is time for the forest departments of both the states to work together. As the forest departments of both the states plan a mechanism, the people living along the boundaries should be made partners, as they are aware of the ground realities.