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Day 2 of 4th edition of the Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum 2017

Guwahati 03rd November 2017: A press conference was also oraganised today at Vivanta by Taj in concurrence with the 4th edition of the Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum 2017. The press conference was headed by Ranjit Barthakur, Founder Trustee of Balipara Foundation along with Dr Kamal Bawam ATREE, India, Priyanka Yoshikawa, Miss World Japan 2016, Ravi Singh, WWF, India and Khun Shivaporn Dardarananda, Thailand along with His Excellency President of Central Tibetan Administration Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Lobsang Sangay.

Addressing media representatives Ranjit Barthakur spoke about the need for rural communities benefiting from conservation efforts and the need to make conservation efforts more human centric. Ravi Singh of WWF concurred on this point and added that 10 years earlier, we would still be talking about the conservation of single species like the tiger or rhino, conservation efforts have now moved on to include the rights of communities on their natural resources. Dr Barthakur emphasised on the need for an investment corridor instead of an ecological one to drive economic growth in this ecologically diverse region.

Speaking on the centrality of Tibet in the earth’s environment, Mr Lobsang Sangay said, ‘You won’t understand climate change without understanding the Tibetan plateau. Today, there are 46,000 glaciers in Tibet, half what was there in 2015. 10 major Asian rivers originate from Tibet, if this water source is impacted, what will be the future of Asia? An American scientist had said that whether the weather is warm or cold in Canada is determined by the weather conditions in Tibet. He also expressed his concerns regarding the Chinese Government’s not complying to the UN on water sharing ‘The Chinese Government should listen to Chinese environmentalists and make sure that the river Brahmaputra is not diverted by China, the water sharing treaty pushed by the UN still doesn’t have China as one of its signatories. I do not wish to make a political point, just want to assure that something as basic as the right to water is not violated by China’.

The second day proceeding of 4th edition of the Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum 2017 started with discussion on TRUMPETING THE WILD - Elements Essential for Developing and Implementing Keystone Species Conservation Programmes, using the Elephant as a Mascot. Khun Sivaporn Dardarananda, Thailand shared his insights on Re- Introduction of Elephants, followed by Priyanka Yoshikawa, Miss World Japan, 2016 saying about Community Conservation & Elephants and Dr. K. K. Sarma, Assam Agricultural University, India on Elephants in Captivity. The session was chaired by Ravi Singh, CEO, WWF - India and Belinda Wright, Wildlife Protection Society of India, India. Speed talk of the session were delivered by Sandeep Tiwari, IUCN, India and Dr. Varun Goswami, Wildlife Conservation Society, India. Panellists of the session were, Dr. K, K. Sarma, Assam Agricultural University, India, Andy Merk, Nature and Wildlife Association, France, Dr. Divya Vasudev, Wildlife Conservation Society, India and Dr. Rathin Barman, Wildlife Trust of India, India.

The second session of the day was on EVEN ELEPHANTS HAVE A SECRETARIAT - A Digital Haven for Conservation, insights shared by Mansi Parikh, Balipara Foundation, India followed by a short film Screening titled Return to the Forest By Elephant Re-Introduction Foundation. The next panel discussion was on LEGALISM IN SHAPING POLICIES - Law & Policy- an Environmental Perspective towards Effective & Inclusive Policies for Ecosystem. Session was shared by Ravi Singh, CEO, WWF - India and Dr. Anish Andheria, President, WCT, India. The panellists of the session were Bruce Rich, Environmental Law Institute, USA, Prashant Choudhury, India, Kartik N. Shukul, India , Prerna Singh Bindra, India, Harish Chaudhary, IFS, Govt. of Meghalaya, India and Rohit Choudhury, RTI Activist, India.

The session was followed by a discussion on STORYTELLERS ON THE FRONTLINE - The Role of Print, Social & Digital Media in Conservation. Session was chaired by Lt. Gen. Arun Sahni, Former General Officer Commanding in Chief, India and Bahar Dutt, India. Speed talk was delivered by Ganga Limbu, KTK- BELT, Nepal and session panellists were Prerna Singh Bindra, India, Nimesh Ved, Krishnamurti Foundation, India, Samrat Choudhury, India, Ruella Rahman Khound, India and Amit Patro, Sikkim Express, India. A short film titled EASTERN HIMALAYAN BOTANIC ARK by Ruella Rahman Khound was screened post the discussion.

The final session of the forum was on COMMUNITIES SPEAK - Voices of the people from the Land. Session was chaired by Sarat Chandra Das, Grameen Development & Finance Pvt. Ltd., India, Dr. Gita Dutta, Balipara Foundation, India and panellists were Amit Kujur, K- EDC, India, Parmeshwar Rabha, K- EDC, and India | Suresh Pait, India, Ganga Prasad Sharma, India, Mainu Marak, MASK, India.

At the end of the day’s proceeding resolutions and outcomes of the discussion held throughout the day were pointed out.

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