Few thoughts as I read this section:
- “There are two Lisu (originally belong to Myanmar) settlements in the core zone of the park, damaging the virgin forest.” My problem is with the parenthesis. Why would they want to say that? I will have bigger problem if they imply that those two villages [Nibodi and Ngwazakha] are Burmese citizens.
- “Hunting, illegal fishing and trapping of wild fauna like tiger, barking deer, leaf deer, sambhar, wild boar, bear, wildcat and a variety of birds by local inhabitants (Lisu, Chakma and Mishmi)”. Yes possible. But why keep blaming when authorities do nothing? Wildlife authorities normally do not come beyond Deban. Moreover, they do not have a forest camp in Shidi anymore. They had in the 1980s.
- “Thus, it is evident that the buffer-zone concept failed with respect to Namdapha National Park”. Yes it is good. How would a tribe survive within 6 to 7 km – between 80 Miles to Chidudi (Ramnagar)?
Read more about this below and whole report if you like, given in the link.
Threats to Namdapha National Park
SOURCE: Management Plan: Namdapha National Park (A research project undertaken by Ministry of Environment and Forests Government of India and Indira Gandhi Conservation Monitoring Centre-WWF India). URL: http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/Namdapha%20Management%20Plan-08022012.pdf (accessed: 3 July 2013). Page 30 – 32.
The existing threats to the National Park can be briefly summarised as follows:
(i) Human influx – In recent years, human migration caused by population increase has posed increasing threats to the biodiversity of forest zones all over the world (McCool and Kruger, 2003). Although Namdapha is in a remote corner of the country, it could not escape from human interference (Arunachalam, et al., 2003). As has been mentioned earlier several ethnic human communities have been living in and around the park and are fully dependant on the resources of the national park for their day to day life. Besides the side-line settlements mentioned above, there are two unauthorized settlements in the core zone with 43 households and a population of 280 (Arunachalam et al., 2004).
The Chakmas, originally belong to the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, have settled down in different parts of the State as refugees (mainly in Changlang and Lohit districts) during 1964-65 (SAHRDC, 2001). Prior to the declaration of Namdapha as a national park and tiger reserve, the Chakmas were living in Haldibari, Zero camp and Farmbase (present buffer zone). After declaration as a national park in 1983, they were resettled outside the park boundary in the adjacent Anchal reserve forests. However they continue to use the park resources for their livelihood. Similarly there are other migrant communities dependent upon the forest resources. There are two Lisu (originally belong to Myanmar) settlements in the core zone of the park, damaging the virgin forest. About 170 ha of forest land (in the core zone) has already been cleared within the last few years for agriculture (excluding jhum) and settlement. Further, there is illegal felling of trees and collection of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) (Arunachalam et al., 2004).
(ii) Extraction of forest products – People depend on the park for timber, bamboo, roofing materials, medicinal plants and other NTFPs (Adhikari and Arunachalam, 2003; Sarmah et al., 2003; Sarmah et al., 2004). Happy Valley, Haldibari and M.V. road side areas (in the buffer zone) have been identified as extraction zones in the park. It is estimated that about 975 tonnes of bamboos and posts, and 45.5 tonnes of wild vegetables and medicinal plants are harvested annually in the villages in and around the national park. This can be attributed to demographic pressure and easy accessibility to the forest as well as to the local market demand. Fuel-wood is the major source of energy in these areas, as no alternative energy sources like electricity and cooking gas are available. The consumption of firewood is higher during winter in comparison to summer for processing of agricultural products for their value-addition. Also, more firewood is required for warmth during winter season. Illegal felling and trafficking of trees have been noticed several times inside the park area although Supreme Court banned such activities in the North-eastern states since December 1996 (Arunachalam et al., 2004). Extraction of these forest resources in such unsustainable manner, will ultimately affect the overall biodiversity of the park, in the long run
(iii) Hunting and poaching – Hunting, illegal fishing and trapping of wild fauna like tiger, barking deer, leaf deer, sambhar, wild boar, bear, wildcat and a variety of birds by local inhabitants (Lisu, Chakma and Mishmi) for bush meat and hide, is a severe concern for the management of Namdapha (Arunachalam et al., 2004). Habitat destruction poses further threat to wildlife (Lau and Shi, 2000).Although the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 was extended to Arunachal Pradesh in May 1973, and prohibits picking, poaching and hunting of wild animals and plants, its enforcement is not to be of much use in this area (Arunachalam et al., 2004). The great Indian hornbill (Buceros bicornis), the State bird of Arunachal Pradesh, has played an important role in the traditional lifestyle and dressing habits of many tribes in the state. The tribal people use the beak of the bird as a headgear to be worn as a traditional knot on the forehead. Thus, the world’s most colourful bird is heading towards extinction in the north-eastern states of India. Moreover, there are ample game hunters around Namdapha who frequently hunt birds for fun and food. The Apatani tribe residing in higher elevations (Ziro) of Arunachal Pradesh now use artificial beaks of the hornbill, as reiterated by the WWF-India (World Wide Fund for Nature – India) in the state (Arunachalam et al., 2004).
(iv) Buffer zone – The buffer zone concept of Namdapha nature reserve is somewhat different from the IUCN (International Union of Conservation) concept. The buffer area (177 sq km) is confined only to the north-west corner of the park. This area had human settlements earlier (Haldibari, Farmbase and Zero camp) and was later added to the park in 1986. Currently, in the buffer zone (demarcated by forest authorities), there is no human settlement, but the resettled communities frequently visit the zone for various forest produces. The south-eastern periphery of the park was earlier considered as a core area and human interference was supposed to be negligible there. However, decadal increase of human population in the fringes of this reserve has compelled people to encroach the park area. Further, immigration from neighbouring Myanmar is also adding to demographic pressure over the natural resources in the park. Consequently this is disturbing the pristine forest vegetation and the resident wild fauna in the protected area. Thus, it is evident that the buffer-zone concept failed with respect to Namdapha National Park (Arunachalam et al., 2004).