The Arunachal Pradesh State Board for Wildlife (SBWL), which met in Itanagaron Thursday, has approved the proposal for a comprehensive Red Panda conservation plan.
At the meeting it was also decided the community-initiated conservation festival, the Pakke-Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF), is to be an annual state festival.
Red Panda, one of the most endangered mammals in the world, is found in a large number in the forests of Arunachal.
As the state boasts of the largest number of potential Red Panda habitats in India, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India (the leading organization in wildlife conservation and endangered species.) is initiating the
Red Panda conservation plan.
WWF (India) has been working in West Kameng and Tawang districts, covering more than 7000 sq km of biodiversity-rich areas, for more than a decade on community-based conservation of forests and wildlife.
In the previous conservation efforts, It was observed that despite having more than a 1000-sq km Red Panda habitat under community conserved areas, more needs to be done to secure the Red Pandas for the future.
WWF (India) has proposed to develop a state-level management plan for the Red Panda, based on advanced habitat analysis and stakeholder consultation, and to ensure its implementation through the environment & forests department. The plan will be a first of its kind in the country and is aimed at setting a benchmark for all future conservation efforts for securing the Red Pandas on a long-term basis.
Touted as the only wildlife conservation-based festival of the state, the PPHF, which was being celebrated through community participation, will now be taken over by the state government.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who chaired the SBWL meeting, directed the environment & forests department to ensure establishment of required infrastructure for celebration of the festival annually, and to make it a global event.
The board also approved a proposal for establishment of a high altitude breeding centre-cum-aviary at a selected location. It said the centre would be significant not only in view of promoting tourism but also for education, interpretation and breeding of pheasants.