Animals  India Project #19930

Stop mass hunting of wildlife in India

by Wildlife Trust of India Vetted since 2011 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Project of the Month Site Visit Verified
Customary Law Book
Customary Law Book

The second most populous tribe, the Adi’s inhabits six districts of Arunachal Pradesh in north-east India. Adi meaning “hill man” or “man of hill” are said to be migrated from East and Southeast Asia. Early outsiders referred to them as Abor, meaning ‘uncontrolled or savage’, due to the tribe’s reputation as fierce warriors. It is this reputation and the inhospitable terrain in which they live, have ensured the survival of Adi culture for centuries. A major collective tribe of about 25 major tribes, living in the Himalayan hills, the Adis have been traditionally hunting wild animals en masse during their festivals, especially during Dorung in November, Unying or Aran in March and Dishang in January.

Forests in Arunachal Pradesh and its neighbouring state Assam are considered to be one of India’s biodiversity hotspots which boasts of rich diversity of species, many of which are threatened, endangered or close to extinction in wild. However, unabated traditional hunting practices by Adi’s have threatened the existence of these species which have seen a considerable decline over the years.  Disturbed by the loss of wildlife at such rapid pace, the Adi Baane Kebang (ABK), the Traditional Apex, Appellate & Supreme Council of the Adis, partnered with Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to put a stop to these hunting rituals.

The team in consultation with the “Kebang” (meaning the village council) conducted a series of awareness programs. Through mass level programs the project is able to reach out to 80 villages covering 10 blocks in East Siang district. Though there we initial hesitation by the village gaon burahs (Village heads), ABK holding the judiciary power over deciding disputes and social issues was able to pass a resolution on banning the ritual hunt. Under the theme of “Preservation, Protection and Conservation of Biodiversity” and constant efforts of sensitization the project was able to get signed resolution of about 200 members. More Gaon burrahs from different villages also expressed their views supporting the resolution to ban all hunting. Based on the awareness camps and consultative workshops the ABK came out with a “consensus report” which endorsed the Adi’s commitment on the following: Complete ban on use, selling, store, transportation, and possession of air gun & its pellets in East Siang District, Complete ban on hunting/fishing by using gun, 22 rifles, blasting, generator and poison and Protection of D’Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary with more dynamism from land encroachers and illegal hunters. The Forest Department also participated in these events and encouraged the tribals to surrender their locally made guns, traps and weaponry used for hunting. The project team also got cooperation from East Siang Deputy Commissioner, where he issued additional executive order urging immediate surrender of Air Guns and empower the Gaon Burahs and local bodies to deal with the wildlife cases.

The awareness campaign witnessed positive response and reaction from the local tribes. With the targeted intervention the tribals were keen to abolish the age old practices and move towards a more sustainable and eco friendly model of tourism. A marked change is being witnessed in the community to protect their own wildlife heritage.

The projects aim to reach out to more Adi settlements and reduce the mass hunting to nil.  Constant engagement with the local tribe is the key for this. Please join us in supporting Adi Tribes to protect their wildlife.

Sensitizing the Adi Tribe
Sensitizing the Adi Tribe
Communicating with the tribe
Communicating with the tribe
The awareness programme in the process
The awareness programme in the process

An awareness campaign on Preservation, Promotion and Protection of Biodiversity, Sensitisation of Adi Tribal Community to ban Ritual Hunting was organised jointly by Wildlife Trust of India and Adi Baane Kebang, East Siang District at Kiyit Village community hall under Mebo sub-division, East Siang.

Addressing the meeting, ABK, East Siang unit, General Secretary, Tajing Taki spoke on the aims and objectives of the meeting.

Resource person, Range Forest Officer, Mebo, Obang Tayeng highlighted the issue of the preservation of biodiversity and the implications of destruction of wildlife. Speaking in the meeting, Gaon Burah of Kiyit, Ruklik Pertin called upon all to uphold the resolutions adopted in true spirit.


The meeting adopted a complete ban on selling, using, possession and transportation of Air Guns and its pellets in Adi belt with imposition of heavy fines, to protect Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary by all the community members, adding limitations against destruction of Forest based produces like cane, bamboo and restriction of yearly Tree permit Quota system in Saw Mills by District Administration and Forest department.
The meeting also appealed the district administration for supporting the movement for eradication of Opium, Ganja and IMFL consumption.
All district and block executive members of ABK and ABK WW East Siang, Gaon Burahs, Panchayat Members and villagers attended the meeting.

It was further stressed to the district administration and forest department to book the hunters and illegal traders and punish them accordingly.
The people were motivated to save wildlife as these have an indispensable role in the ecosystems and community leaders were requested to come forward in this regard.

The following laws are being imposed in by the ABK in the Adi belt:

a) Hunting and fishing by way of blasting, poison, electric current are completely banned. A fine of Rs. 25, 000/- will be imposed.

 b) Blocking the stream/river by using bull dozer is completely banned. A fine of Rs. 25, 000/- will be imposed.

c) Any person hunting without the knowledge of village community will be imposed a fine Rs. 25,000/-

d) Any person from outside the village who has encroached for hunting and fishing will be imposed fine of Rs. 25,000/-

No animal hunting by gun or air gun. Restrictions on Traditional Hunting

a) Individual, group or sub-group hunting is totally banned

b) No selling and purchasing of hunted animals and birds in Adi belt.

c) Any one found breaking rules will be imposed a fine Rs. 25,000/- or punishment as per forest/Administrative law.

River/Stream (Water body Hunting)

a) Traditional way of trapping through bamboo sticks, basket netting or other form of fishing is allowed 2-3 times a year during festivals. Not open for all but area owners only.

b) Activities like blasting, using electric current, poison, diverting stream or river are totally banned.

c) Fine of Rs. 25,000/- will be imposed and the administration will take action as per law.

Section X Clause 3 of Sub-Clause (c) has also empowered village authorities to check and make strict vigil in their own village

 Nine such awareness campaigns have been conducted by  WTI and ABK unit across the district.

Links:

Talking about the wildlife in Kaziranga
Talking about the wildlife in Kaziranga

Arunachal Pradesh, in North East India is one of the country’s biodiversity hotspots. The once pristine forests boast of a large variety of species, many of which are Threatened, Endangered or close to extinction in wild.

The Adi tribe is a major collective tribe living in the Himalayan hills of the region.  They inhabit six districts in Arunachal Pradesh and are the second most populous tribe of the state.  Hunting is carried out en masse during the festivals of Dorung in November, Unying or Aran in March and Dishang in January. Weddings are also celebrated with hunts throughout the year.

The Adi Baane Kebang, the Traditional Apex, Appellate & Supreme Council of the Adis is keen to stop these barbaric rituals and wants to sensitize their people to becoming signatories to a resolution banning these hunts. The first phase will address 10 blocks of villages with 66 villages divided across each block.

Three sensitisation camps have already been held in the blocks of Mebo, Ruksin and Monku with a total of 21 villages addressed. The leaders of the Adi Baane Kebang addressed the villagers stating the need to conserve the environment. The Divisional Forest Officer of Pasighat also appealed to the people to stop their mass hunting practices, highlighting the many endemic and endangered species found in the region. Local leaders and few village heads also known as gaon burrahs also expressed their views supporting the resolution to ban all hunting. The interactive sessions were then followed by the gaon burrahs becoming signatories to the resolution on behalf all the people living in their respective villages.

These first few meetings were such a success, that the Forest Department decided to assist in strengthening the message to stop hunting as well. They arranged for 50 of the village heads to go on a trip to Kaziranga National Park to learn to appreciate the abundant beauty that is right on their doorstep. The trip was an triumph with the gaon burrahs slowly beginning to realise the potential benefits that this biodiversity can bring them. They also visited WTI's Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) to learn more about the work people are doing to conserve wildlife in their region.

Eco tourism in the region is picking up with homestays and guided tours gradually becoming the norm. The Forest Department has also stressed the benefits of this to the village heads and they are beginning to learn that their people can earn their living without harming the forest and its wildlife.

Please join us in wishing the Adi tribespeople luck in their ventures to protect their wildlife.

 

Visit to CWRC
Visit to CWRC
Banner announcing the first meeting
Banner announcing the first meeting

Arunachal Pradesh, in North East India is one of the country’s biodiversity hotspots. The once pristine forests boast of a large variety of species, many of which are Threatened, Endangered or close to extinction in wild.

The Adi tribe is a major collective tribe living in the Himalayan hills of the region.  They inhabit six districts in Arunachal Pradesh and are the second most populous tribe of the state.  Hunting is carried out en masse during the festivals of Dorung in November, Unying or Aran in March and Dishang in January. Weddings are also celebrated with hunts throughout the year.

The Adi Baane Kebang, the Traditional Apex, Appellate & Supreme Council of the Adis is keen to stop these barbaric rituals and wants to sensitize their people to becoming signatories to a resolution banning these hunts. We have had a few meetings with the tribal leaders, the monsoons are over and the first phase of our programme is all set to go!

The first phase will address 10 blocks of villages. The first program will be held in Mebo village on the 18th of October 2015. This sensitisation meeting will be held in Mebo village hall and the villagers of Ayeng, Siluk, Aohali, Sigar, Motum, Ralling will all be participating in the meeting.

The ABK will ask for the villagers’ cooperation in enforcing a series of fines for poaching that have already been passed in the Adi Customary Laws. The members of the ABK will address each block of villages along with Forest Department Officials. The village heads known as gaon burrahs will be signatories to the resolution banning hunting as representatives of their respective villages. The people will also be encouraged to surrender their locally made guns, traps and weaponry used for hunting.

In 6 months time, we will also be evaluating the success of the project by evaluating the number of villages that have voluntarily stopped participating in these hunts. This will give us a good indication of the success of the project.

Thank you for all your support so far and do share our project with your on your blogs and social media.

Arunachal Pradesh, in North East India is one of the country’s biodiversity hotspots. The once pristine forests boast of a large variety of species, many of which are Threatened, Endangered or close to extinction in wild. Intrinsically linked to this verdant landscape are the state’s indigenous tribes. These tribes have traditionally hunted wildlife for their meat, fur, beaks, feathers etc. This hunting takes a significant toll on the populations of protected species like the Asiatic black bear, capped langur and Assamese Macaque. Wildlife in Arunachal Pradesh is affected by threats from both anthropogenic and natural factors.

The Adi tribe is a major collective tribe living in the Himalayan hills of the region.  They inhabit six districts in Arunachal Pradesh and are the second most populous tribe of the state. Primarily a rice farming community and subsistence hunters, their traditions include mass ritual hunting during festive occasions.  Hunting is carried out en masse during the festivals of Dorung in November, Unying or Aran in March and Dishang in January. Weddings are also celebrated with hunts throughout the year. Bride prices are often settled in squirrels and other similar species.

The Adi Baane Kebang (ABK) is the Traditional Apex, Appellate & Supreme Council of the Adis .The Kebang regulates and formulates the laws of the Adi community. It is, in essence, a democratic council where village elders automatically become a part of the council and all members of the community strictly adhere to resolutions passed by the ABK. The Adi Baane Kebang is also extremely proactive when it comes to conserving wildlife. On hearing this from the Forest Department, we wanted to know what we could do to help.

A few emails and phone calls later, we were pleasantly surprised when the Secretary of the ABK paid us a visit at our Headquarters and expressed their eagerness to stop the ritual hunting that has long been a part of their traditions. He explained that the ABK was firmly resolved to ensure that the pristine forests belonging to the Adi tribe are preserved for generations to come. To this end, a resolution has been included in the Adi Customary Laws to ban hunting in its entirety. Whilst the resolution has been passed, the ABK realises that change must come from within the community itself for any bans on hunting to be effective and enforced. The tribes' people now need to be be made aware about the new laws so that they stop hunting and ensure the ban is strictly enforced.

A couple of extremely interesting discussions later, we have a plan chalked out. The Adi villages have been divided into blocks, all 162 of them. The Adi Baane Kebang will hold meetings with all the villagers in each block with the gaon burrahs or village heads as principal attendees. The importance of conserving the forests and wildlife will be explained to their people along with the resolution to ban hunting. The villagers will be encouraged to surrender their guns to the Forest Department, something that has been carried out with great success in the past around the D’Ering Wildlife Sanctuary.

 The gaon burrahs will also be given the ability to fine anyone breaking the rules. Money from these fines will go towards the development of the village itself, thus ensuring an incentive to the tribes’ people to nab poachers and protect their lands.

The First Phase of stakeholder meetings in 10 blocks with approximately 60 villages will start as soon as the monsoon is over.

Thank you for all the support so far and do spread the news about our project.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Wildlife Trust of India

Location: Noida, Uttar Pradesh - India
Website: http:/​/​www.wti.org.in
Project Leader:
Samruddhi Kothari
Assistant Manager
Noida, Uttar Pradesh India

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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