Arunachal’s ‘Airgun Surrender Abhiyan’ receives international recognition


 Governments, non-profits and villages in the Northeastern states of the country have had to adopt novel ways to save the wildlife that the region is blessed with. Arunachal’s hornbills were saved with the introduction of plastic hornbill beaks that would go a long way in replacing the original that is worn by an Arunachali community as part of their headgear. Villages in Nagaland have gone out of their way to often mark rivers as ‘no fishing zones’ levying hefty fines on those who try fishing in their rivers.

This time round, the endeavour of the Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department in implementing its ‘Airgun Surrender Abhiyan’ has been hailed as a successful mode for wildlife conservation, so much so that the scheme has now received international recognition at UNESCO’s International Conference on Biosphere Reserves at Sabah in Malaysia.

The scheme was launched by the state’s Forest and Climate Change Minister Mama Natung in March 2021 to educate people on the negative effects of hunting wildlife. Dr Damodar, head of the Dehang-Debang biosphere reserve received the award on behalf of the government of Arunachal Pradesh. There are a number of communities in the region that take pride in their hunting skills. Endeavours such as this Abhiyan are the region’s way of keeping safe its wildlife.