Village-level community surveillance against WL crimes initiated in NE
Surveys and discussions with community members in Dailong Biodiversity Heritage Site, Tamenglong, Manipur

Guwahati: Biodiversity conservation organisation Aaranyak has formed Community Surveillance and Monitoring Teams (CSMT) in select villages in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, according to sources.

These specialised community teams operate in villages near wildlife protection areas, tracking illegal wildlife product markets and trade routes, a press release from Aaranyak stated.

The teams also reportedly conduct community awareness campaigns and communicate wildlife crime information to relevant authorities for prompt action. CSMTs collaborate with local media to raise public awareness about the biodiversity risks posed by wildlife crimes.

Ground level discussions in a village around D’Ering WLS, Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh.

In Arunachal Pradesh, CSMTs focus on protecting the wildlife in D’Ering Wildlife Sanctuary, which faces challenges like illegal hunting and logging. In Manipur, CSMTs are centered around the Dailong Biodiversity Heritage site in Tamenglong district. Dailong village was declared a Biodiversity Heritage Site by the Manipur Government in May 2017.

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Currently, CSMTs are active in eight villages in Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh, and six villages in Tamenglong district, Manipur. These teams comprise individuals from various sectors, including village councils, eco-development societies, biodiversity boards, local NGOs, and student representatives. They monitor wildlife trade routes and report critical information to the authorities. Additionally, they conduct awareness programs on environmental and wildlife conservation throughout the year.

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