From Penitence to a Pledge: Anthropogenic Impact on the Nameri Tiger Reserve, Assam (India) and its Mitigation through Civil Society Intervention and Community Action

2 Mar 2007 The Nameri Tiger Reserve, Sonitpur, Assam, India, Indian Sub-continent Mammals

Partha Jyoti Das


Other projects

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Mapping of Rhino Habitats in the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam, India using Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques

This project aims to secure the protection of the Nameri Tiger Reserve, one of the last thriving habitats of the endangered tiger of India from the claws of encroachers, land grabbers and timbre traders motivated by commercial and political benefits at a time when a serious crisis looms large in India over this flagship species.

Timber logging.

Timber logging.

The Nameri Tiger Reserve (NTR) in the Sonitpur district of Assam, an ideal habitat of tigers and elephants, has come under grave threats of deforestation and degradation owing mainly to encroachment, illegal occupation and large-scale commercial exploitation of forests caused mainly by poverty, social unrest of the recent past and political patronization. As a result, the future of the last surviving tigers and their prey-species has become highly uncertain and the incidents of man-elephant conflicts are rising alarmingly in the entire Sonitpur district.

Deforestation.

Deforestation.

The concept of this project originates from my strong conviction based on field experience that immediate and effective civil-society intervention is needed to ensure protection of the tigers and their habitats and reduce the intensity and damage of man-elephant conflicts in and around NTR. The hard facts about the extraordinary scale of devastation and ecological impact of human interference and aggression on the buffer reserve forests of this potent tiger-land must be brought to the forefront for public cognizance. At the same time necessary action by community-NGO-Government partnership preceded by appropriate scientific studies and intensive sensitisation of the stakeholder communities of the fringe areas must be carried out with utmost urgency.

This project aims to secure the protection of the Nameri Tiger Reserve, one of the last thriving habitats of the endangered tiger of India from the claws of encroachers, land grabbers and timbre traders motivated by commercial and political benefits at a time when a serious crisis looms large in India over this flagship species. Estimating the intensity and scale of anthropogenic impact, sensitizing and empowering the local communities and civil society to rise to the occasion and save the forests and their wildlife and motivating the concerned Government authorities to react and act are its specific objectives.

This project will contribute to securing the future sustenance of the Nameri forests, its tigers, their prey species and elephants by creating a protective rim of alert and enlightened communities all around the reserve which will be the best guarantee against all the detrimental forces including encroachers and their political patrons. Qualitative and quantitative assessment of the ecological impact of the ongoing human-driven devastation on the forests based on both archived data, community opinion and reconstructions from satellite data using remote sensing and GIS techniques will be carried out to unveil the ecological history of degradation and deforestation of the buffer reserve forests of the NTR.

This project is part of a range of projects run by Aaranyak.