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India and Bhutan forest officials discuss conservation issues

forest officials

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: In a first ever effort, a meeting between the forest managers and other stakeholders on Indo-Bhutan Jomotsangkha-Barnadi forest complex was held recently at Nonai Forest Range under Dhansiri Forest Division, BTC, Assam, India. The Jomotsangkha-Barnadi forest complex spread across India and Bhutan comprising 456 sq.km of contiguous forest located in the eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot.

Divisional Forest Officials from both the trans-boundary forest divisions of India and Bhutan attended the meeting and collectively endorsed actions to priorities the forest complex as a single unit to jointly address conservation management issues.

Ugyen Tshring, IFS, Chief Forestry Officer, Jomotsangkha Wildlife Sanctuary, along with seven other forest staff joined from the Bhutan. Rabinson Narzari, Additional Principal Chief Secretary, BTC, A. Swargiary, IFS, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Council Head of Forest, BTC; A Dewan, ACF; D. Das, ACF; Range Officers and other forest officials of Dhansiri forest division participated in the meeting. Dr Anupam Sharma and Dr Hiten Bashya represented from WWF-India. Madhurjay Sharma, Divisional Forest Officer, Dhansiri Forest Division hosted the meeting in collaboration with Aaranyak. Altogether 18 delegates attended the meeting.

The meeting stressed on improving forest law enforcement on the India administered forest areas due to illegal activities that have spread into Bhutanese territory. Swargiary, APCCF & CHD, BTC suggested that to explore the opportunity to bring the remaining forest areas under wildlife protected area network between Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Dhansiri River to ensure habitat protection and connectivity in the area. It was decided in the meeting to organize such discussions at regular intervals and the next meeting is proposed to be held at Jomotsangkha soon.

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