Guwahati: Illegal wildlife trade, lack of water security and haphazard promotion of monoculture are posing ecological threats to the Northeast, a research-based environmental conservation organisation has said.

It is alleged that illegal wildlife trade also poses a threat to national security as recent investigations by law enforcement agencies have shown that there is a nexus between rhino horn trade and anti-national groups.

However, the rhino poaching rate has declined considerably due to concerted efforts of the Assam government, but strict vigil must continue, Aranyak secretary-general Bibha Talukdar said on Thursday.

Water security is also a priority area as some parts of the Northeast face floods, while other areas witness droughts, he said.

Talukdar said that contamination of groundwater with excessive iron, arsenic and fluoride is also a big threat to public health as several stretches of river have become polluted.

Monoculture including the promotion of palm oil in the region leads to the destruction of forests and biodiversity, and the government needs to look into the pros and cons of such plantations, he said.

Invasive plant species in natural habitats pose a serious threat to the native wildlife population.

Assam is one of the 12 states that are highly vulnerable to climate change but the local population has been traditionally practising nature-based solutions to safeguard biodiversity, he added.

Also read | Centre, Assam to build Jorhat-Majuli bridge in 4 years: Sonowal

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