From our Correspondent
TINSUKIA, Dec 4: The proposed commercialization of traditiol knowledge and resources by some organized sectors evoked strong apprehension among tribal communities of Assam whose age-old practices, culture and traditions are likely to be swayed away under the impact of globalization, observed a leading scientist from Pasighat of Aruchal Pradesh in the recently concluded tiol semir in Diphu campus of Assam University. The semir also highlighted the need to understand scientific intricacies of CBD (Convention of Biological Diversity) and IPR (Intellectual Property Right) to safeguard interest of ethnic communities.
Northeast India being the repository of traditiol resources, almost all ethnic groups had been dependent since ages on herbal products. While knowledge and resources had been the livelihood in tribal communities irrespective of hills and plains, these have been the major means of sustence in respect of health, food habits and food security.
According to Dr Rabindra Teron of Diphu campus of Assam University, exploring traditiol knowledge had positive values to both State and stakeholders provided it is framed under UNDP’s goya Protocol (2010) which categorically emphasized on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) to local stakeholders over their tural resources and assets and also framing their own developmental solutions. Though it is successfully achieved in some tribal areas in India, in this part of the Northeast, the communities are in the dark about market potentialities of vast wealth, Teron said adding that awareness among the communities was the need of the hour. The traditiol knowledge and assets should be preserved, explored but not exploited, maintained Chow Jotika mchoom of Chowkham (AP), giving a clear sigl that they would not let their resources to be outsourced. Prof Ra Kumar Changmai of Tinsukia College and also an activist who has been working extensively in tribal belts of Upper Assam and Aruchal Pradesh, vehemently opposed trading and commercialization of traditiol resources and culture. He pointed out that the traditiol cuisines of Sinphoo tribes had been in great demand and this if outsourced, it would be total cultural loss of Sinphoos, Changmai observed.
In her paper presented to the tiol semir at Diphu, Rupita Lungkeing of msai highlighted sustaibility and food security while dealing with herbs being used in Khamti culiry as spices. She pointed out that the tribal communities were self-sufficient in respect of their food habits and traditiol resources. She opined a significant concept that the traditiol knowledge and resources could help check malnutrition among urbanites and people of low income group.