GUWAHATI CITY

‘Poaching is a greater threat to wildlife’

GUWAHATI, May 19: Aaranyak, a society for biodiversity conservation and research organization, in collaboration with the Gauhati High Court Bar Association has organized a seminar on ‘Wildlife Crime and the Laws’ at the seminar hall of Gauhati High Court on Saturday with an aim to discuss the rapid increase in wildlife crimes and their legal aspects.

Gauhati High Court Judge Justice Arup Kumar Goswami, while delivering his inaugural speech as the chief guest, mentioned that the greatest threat to the wildlife is poaching and the fast-track courts related to the crimes are one of the most effective laws and ensured that it would act vigorously. Goswami also termed the wildlife crimes as one of the most crucial issues prevailing in India, especially in the North-eastern region.

Justice Ujjal Bhuyan of the Gauhati High Court, who attended the seminar as the guest of honour, highlighted the tradition of killing animals and exhibition of their parts as a sign of aristocracy in society. “In the semi-urban areas of Assam, there are still many old Assam type houses, whose entrances are still decorated with the horns of rhinos, deer etc, including the embellishment of the interiors are done with tiger or leopard skin etc. These are considered as a sign of aristocracy,” said Bhuyan. Besides, he spoke about the gradual changes in the arena of wildlife after the 1970s with the introduction of laws and how certain crimes are curbed mentioning ‘trading of wildlife’ being on the 4th position amongst all the crimes.

Dr. Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, Secretary General and CEO, Aaranyak, during his presentation on the topic ‘Wildlife Crime and its Global Perspective’ stressed the importance of Northeast India as one of the biodiversity hotspots of the country. He gave a detailed idea about the diversity of wildlife in this region with respect to its population and an illustrative talk on the rhinos at a global platform with special focus on Assam. “Rhino poaching bothers us because of its impact on rhino population, on morale of frontline forest guards, on overall conservation, due to the added pressure on police and most importantly because of its impact on the national security,” added Talukdar.