Global women conservation leaders from various countries have converged in the city to network and share their experience with the objective to highlight importance of women’s participation in the save earth efforts.
The Women in Nature Network (WiNN), Indian chapter, is hosting the three-day conclave of women conservationist under the aegis of Aaranyak with support from local collaborators including Assam Forest Department, Kamrup District Administration, Kamrup District Police.
WiNN which was founded in 2013, has been working to develop a global learning community of women in order to create and support a future generation of environmental leaders.
Leanne Alonso of WiNN in his address at the inauguration of the conference appealed to Indian women to come together on one platform and work for natural resource management.
“The theme of the event is ‘Empowering women for nature conservation: Connecting and inspiring women globally,” said Aaranyak’s conservation leader and WiNN India Director, Purnima Devi Barman.
Inaugurating the event, Assam Governor, Prof Jagadish Mukhi said, “Natural resources are facing a grave threat of extinction and women must take the decision-making role in the management and conservation of natural resources. The WiNN provides a right platform for woman conservationists to work together.”
The CEO of Aaranyak, Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar in his welcome address said “Aaranyak considers this opportunity to host this WiNN conclave a landmark in its journey so far.”
“Aaranyak has been encouraging women with penchant for nature conservation to be part of its journey that started way back in 1989. Our experience with women conservation workers has been tremendous,” he said.
The participants of the event are from different countries like Guyana and Argentina in South America, from Honduras and Mexico in Central America and from the USA. It is having significant representation from neighbouring Nepal and Bhutan, as well as Vietnam.
Superintendent of Police of Kamrup district, Partha Sarothi Mahanta, lauded Aaranyak and its conservation leader Purnima Devi Barman’s sustained efforts to protect and preserve the valued hub of Greater Adjutant Stork (GAS) species at Dadara, Pachariya and Singimi villages in Kamrup District of Assam.
“It was a pleasant surprise for me when sometime in 2010, Purnima Devi Barman came to my office to seek help of Kamrup Police in conservation of GAS at her project site. It was an unprecedented and unique request I received in my long career in policing.
“My visit to the project site convinced me about Aaranyak’s sincerity and dedication. Now it has become a standard practice for Kamrup police to help Purnima and her team rescue GAS species/ falling nests and take those to State Zoo hospital for rehabilitation. Purnima commands tremendous support from community women at the site.”
Over 50 rural woman conservationists from Kamrup district’s Dadara Pachariya Singimari village were present at the inaugural ceremony. This brave group of over 200 women has attracted global attention as the ‘Hargila (GAS) Army’.