Case Study: TANA TAPI, TAKUM NABUM AND THE GHORA AABHE SOCIETY
The Ghora Aabhe Society consists of reformed hunters and conservationists living in and around Pakke Tiger Reserve, who have become the guardians of wildlife in this landscape. Situated in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, members of the society are known for carrying out ground-level conservation work with communities and governing agencies towards the awareness and conservation of biodiversity. Two of the key people from the society are Tana Tapi and Takum Nabum.
Tana Tapi is the Divisional Forest Ocer (DFO) of Pakke Tiger Reserve. With his leadership, Tana and his team works on setting up anti-poaching infrastructure and carrying out operations. Starting o with seldom 25 forest department personnel in 2005, Pakke National Park was completely understaed. This was also the time when Tana joined the forest department as DFO. With assistance from the forest department authorities, the strength of forest personnel grew to 140 individuals and as many as 24 anti-poaching strike squads were recruited by 2007. The department was also upgraded with facilities during Tana’s tenure. The positive impact of Tana’s work was reected with higher documented densities of tigers in Pakke National Park. And as the DFO of Pakke, Tana carried out multiple armed operations against poacher gangs. Tana then got involved with Takum Nabum and the Ghore Aabhe Society seeking an opportunity to promote community conservation in Pakke. He also tried to remove the stigma of dierence between locals and forest department personnel by providing livelihood opportunities to the rural youth to be ‘forest watchers’ of Pakke. He was also able to convince certain tribal villages to donate a piece of land for the forest department to set up anti-poaching camps. Takum Nabum heads the Ghore Aabhe Society and works towards promoting conservation in and around Pakke Tiger Reserve. He was also one of the key individuals who pushed forward the Hornbill Nest Adoption Program in 2011. Takum, along with the Nishi tribal community oversees the hornbill nest monitoring program in and around Pakke Tiger Reserve. The collaborative team constituted women self-help groups and they also played a role of being the informants for the Pakke Forest Department. For their diversied work, as a team, to help and conserve wildlife in Northeast India, they were awarded the Ecological Restoration Award by Balipara Foundation in 2014.
The Ghore Aabhe Society helped in the formation and capacity building of the women self-help group in Pakke. The society also provided mosquito nets to the Adivasi tribe of remote villages. The society also facilitated villagers who have faced crop damage by wild animals, with relief camps and compensation for losses. They also regularly organize medical and veterinary camps for neighboring villages. The society was also involved in helping the people aected by ash oods and providing them with relief resources. The society also carried out training and awareness programmes on ethnic medicinal plants. The society organized the Pakke Nameri Peace Carnival to create awareness in Wildlife Conservation. And it is also involved in capacity building of schools, by providing them with blackboards and other study materials in the Seijosa Area. Lately, the society has been giving handloom and handicraft-based community livelihood training for the locals.
The Gohre Aabhe Society helped develop the Eco-Camp at Seijosa, Arunachal Pradesh, which helped provide income and employment opportunities for the local people through the tourism sector. The Eco-Camp was also involved in capacity building of local people to train them in catering, house-keeping and also in nature tour guiding for Pakke Jungle Camp. The society was also involved in the signing of a MoU with the Pakke Tour and Travel Department, Pakke Wildlife Department and Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary and Help Tourism Pvt. Ltd for the sustainable development of tourism sector in Seijosa area. The MoU was also aimed to help generate income and employment opportunities for the local people and for the conservation of the landscape. Ecological Impact: The Ghore Aabhe Society carried out wildlife protection and global warming campaign in multiple villages around Pakke and other villages in and around Arunachal Pradesh. The society was also involved in eviction drive of encroachers from Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary. They also help in the seizure of illegal weapons from poachers from the forests. The society was integral in successfully setting up of the Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme in collaboration with Nature Conservation Foundation (Mysore) and Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary (DFO). The society also played a huge role in the recruitment of local people for the Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme.