Assam asks WWF for plan to mitigate human-elephant

Guwahati: Assam Environment and Forest Minister Rakibul Hussain has asked World Wildlife Fund-India to submit an operational plan for Human Elephant Conflict(HEC) mitigation in the state's forest divisions.

Hussain told a delegation of WWF-India, who called on him today, that after the plan was submitted, he would take it up with the concerned Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) and Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) and ensure better fund flow to improve HEC management intervention.

Referring to the next phase of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020) programme, the minister said the government was interested in undertaking translocation of rhinos to the Laokhowa-Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuaries (WLS) at the earliest.

Hussain also discussed the need for strengthening coordination between the state government, Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) at all levels for better wildlife conservation.

The WWF-India team apprised the minister about the threats posed by the expansion of the Lumding road in central Assam and the modifications that could be implemented to lessen the impact of the expansion work on local wildlife.

The minister stressed on the need to ensure that some visible modifications are implemented during the expansion to manage the adverse impact.

"There is a need for innovative solutions to tackle the conservation issues facing Assam. WWF has been doing good work in this regard and working together, we can conserve the rich biodiversity of Assam," he added.