First ever survey on presence of elephants in Manipur conducted “Manipur covered under All India Tiger Estimation 2018 exercise”

First ever survey on presence of elephants in Manipur conducted “Manipur covered under All India Tiger Estimation 2018 exercise”

IMPHAL, May 4 (DIPR): K Angami, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force (PCCF & HoFF) said that the first ever survey on presence of elephants in the State was conducted under Project Elephant funded by GoI at two districts namely Tamenglong and Ukhrul in 2017-18.
He was addressing the media persons at the ongoing series of press conference organised by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) at Moirangkhom office.
He further said for the first time, Manipur is being covered under All India Tiger Estimation 2018 exercise of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Government of India. Tamenglong, Senapati and Ukhrul/Kamjong are have high potential for presence of small resident tiger population. The districts have connectivity through forest corridors with Kaziranga National Park and Myanmar forests.
Angami said that the Forest Department also took up the initiative to set up a Conservation-cum- Captive Breeding Centre of the State bird, ‘Nongin’ in its native area in Shirui, Ukhrul.
The department intensified its habitat management of Sangai and promotion of eco-tourism in Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP).
The population of Sangai has increased to 260 (including 75 Stags, 127 Hinds and 58 Fawns) as per estimation of 2016 population, he added.
He informed that the number of visitors have crossed 10,000 during the current year as compared to 6,000 visitors in National Park last year.
He said the Indian Forest Act (Manipur Amendment) Bill, 2018 passed in the Manipur Legislative Assembly in February (Budget Session) will help strengthen the protection network for forest and streamline the regulatory mechanisms for movement of forest produces.
He said Manipur recorded an increase in forest area of 263 sq km in the latest report of India State of Forest Report (ISFR), 2017 released by the Forest Survey of India on February 12, 2018, which records third highest in India after Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
While lauding the department officials, Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) and people including the villagers for playing an important role in conservation of forests, he said that the increase in forest area is a result of conservation, plantations and regeneration which took up under various Central and State schemes.
The department collected revenue of Rs 23.50 crore during 2017-18 from April 2017-March 2018 for which he gave credit to the security forces including the paramilitary and State Police personnel for giving assistance in many cases including seizure of illegal timbers.
To increase forest cover and improve forest, Angami said that the department is taking up afforestation programmes under GIM, Restocking of Reserve Forest, Social Forestry Plantations, etc in partnership with the villagers of respective areas.
He informed that during 2017-18, the department initiated the works in 556 hectare area under Restocking of Reserve Forest. Social Forestry Plantations are being taken up in 136 hectare to meet the fuel wood and fodder demand during the current year.
Under GIM, 7939 hectare area is being maintained to improve the density of degraded forests.
Under CAMPA, afforestation was taken up in 6930.74 hectare area with an amount of Rs 32.08 cr and under NAP, 1438 hectare area is being taken up under afforestation with an amount of Rs 3.55 cr during the 2017-18.
Informing that a separate Urban Forestry has been energised and the Division has taken up 19.10 km of road median plantation on important roads of Imphal and Bishnupur, he said that all the road median plantations are maintained by the Forest Department from 2017-18 excluding the Airport Road which is maintained by Directorate of Environment.
During the current year, eight new ‘Community Reserves’ involving an area of 92.71 sq km has been notified under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 in Senapati and Tamenglong districts which has helped the department to increase the Protected Area Network in the State from 3.8% to 4.2% of the total geographical area.
He said that the Central Government under National Mission on Himalayan Studies approved a new ambitious project, Nature Learning Centre (NLC) based in Imphal, which will spread its activities across the State by involving village chiefs, civil societies, school institutes, media persons, politicians and administrators toward the cause of protection and conservation.
N Kipgen, IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Climate Change and Forest Conservation Act; H Brajamani Sharma, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forests, CAMPA; Anurag Bajpai, IFS, in charge PCCF attended the press conference among others.

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