Performers at the festival

Itanagar: The 4th edition of Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival, a unique festival celebrating the sense of responsibility and commendable effort of the Nyishi community towards the conservation of hornbill, got off to a flying start at the banks of Pakke river in Seijosa on Friday.

Seijosa, which is around 137 km from state capital Itanagar, is a circle in the newly created Pakke Kessang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Speaking at the inaugural function, deputy chief minister Chowna Mein said that the people of Pakke Kesang are an inspiration for others in regards to ‘conservation of nature’.

“With this wildlife conservation festival, a message of love for Mother Nature and conservation of wildlife should be sent to the all other parts of the state and such wildlife conservation awareness must be done in other areas too,” Mein said.

Stating that Arunachal can become the ultimate place for wildlife and cultural tourism, the DCM said with wildlife conservation, the tourism flow would also increase.

He further called upon the people to make a commitment to protect the bounties of Mother Nature and conserve the wildlife species.

“It is high time to take up the conservation issue seriously,” he said assured to sanction a package for the preservation of the Wildlife Sanctuary of the State in the coming budget.

He then asked Prabhat Tyagi, the chief conservator of forest for wildlife and biodiversity, to prepare and propose innovative schemes under wildlife conservation for incorporation in next year’s budget.

RWD and Parliamentary affairs minister Bamang Felix said that there has been an increase in the hornbill population in the Pakke Tiger Reserve in the last three years after the festival has begun and lauded the local community for their conservation efforts.

Discouraging hunting activities, the minister called for total abstinence from eating wild meats in order to protect the wildlife species.

While encouraging the people in their conservation efforts, he provided financial assistance for planting trees in the Pakke Tiger Reserve and also for caring of the trees after planting.

Pakke-Kessang MLA Biyuram Waghe and Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival Celebration Committee 2019 chairman Takum Nabum also spoke on the occasion.

The dignitaries later also visited the exhibition stalls put up by various NGOs, SHGs and departments in the festival ground.

After the inaugural function, the dignitaries had a jungle safari inside the Pakke Tiger Reserve during which they spotted Wreathed and Oriental Pied Hornbills and many other rare bird species.

Pakke-Paga Festival is the only wildlife conservation-based festival of the state. The theme of the festival this year’s is ‘Celebrating Nature’. The festival aims at highlighting the rich biodiversity of the region and also the beautiful culture and tradition of the Nyishi community.

Organised jointly by the forest department, the Ghora Abhe Society, a Seijosa-based Village Forest Development Council and local communities, the three-day event will feature tourism activities like jeep safari, trekking, ‘butterfly walk’, wildlife photography, elephant safari, bird watching, exhibition, workshop on organic dye, traditional games and sports, etc.

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