Arunachal CM launches second edition of Eagle Nest Birding Festival
Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pima Khanduon Saturday announced the inauguration of the second edition of ‘Eagle Nest Birding Festival’ at Oaktum Thongre village in West Kameng district.
To mark the occasion, Khandu unveiled two community reserves of 18 and 25 sq km, donated by the villagers – Tukpon and Sungkhit , respectively. These reserves will be preserved and used by community members to promote tourism in the area.
Speaking on the occasion, Khandu lauded the initiative taken by members of the Sherdukpen community in the Shergaon Valley for the initiative, which they said would go a long way in preserving the rich biodiversity of Arunachal.
He assured that the festival would be officially declared as a calendar event of the state government and asked the authorities to come up with a proposal in this regard after fixing the date of the event.
Describing the state’s Forest and Environment Department’s “Air Gun Surrender Campaign” as a major initiative, Khandu said people had voluntarily handed over guns used for hunting. “As a result, there has been a sudden increase in bird populations across the state,” he said.
The purpose of the Airgun Surrender Campaign is to prevent wildlife poaching and to raise awareness about the harmful effects of killing wildlife.
The Chief Minister said that Arunachal Pradesh is home to more than 500 species of birds out of which 471 are found only in Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary.
He praised the people of West Camming who live in the sanctuary and who have protected bird species for centuries through community mobilization. He further hoped that the establishment of Tukpon and Sungkhit Community Reserve would further enhance the conservation of wildlife in the area.
Describing Arunachal Pradesh as a major carbon sink in the country, Khandu said the state government was looking at the possibility of ‘monetizing’ the benefits so that people could leave their forests without polluting the environment and cutting down a tree. Take advantage
“Please make sure the Eagle Nest Birding Festival is really connected to the loud, cultural programs and pollution-free nature,” he advised.
The day before, Khandu flagged off the Eagle Nest Birding Festival Cycle Challenge 2022 with the theme “Don’t Say No to Drugs”.
Also present on the occasion were MLA of Thrizino-Buragaon and Adviser to the Minister for Forests, Kumsi Sidisow, local MLA Dorjee Wangdi Kharma, military officers and representatives of district administration.