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In a move to provide sustainable alternative livelihoods to local community members to reduce their dependency on forests resources besides sensitizing locals towards the need for biodiversity conservation, 50 eco-cylindrical stoves were provided to the villagers of Azuram and Dailong in Manipur’s Tamenglong district.

The eco-cylindrical stoves, one of the eco-friendliest stoves in Manipur which was designed in such a manner that it can be used in both rural and urban areas, were provided under a year long initiative titled Systematic Rejuvenation Of Indigenous Jungles and Nature (SRIJAN) of The Corbett Foundation (TCF), with the support from the Axis Bank Foundation.

Disclosing this, programme officer Mordecai Panmei of TCF said the 50 eco-friendly stoves (25 each to a village) were provided to 50 households in Azuram and Dailong villages.

Earlier 40 bee-boxes were also provided in October 2019 (in these villages) apart from taking up large scale plantation of the local tree species with the involvement of the community, environmentalist Mordecai said.

Besides awareness programme on forest and wildlife conservation in schools and villages are taking place.

According to the recently released the Indian State of Forest Report 2019, Manipur suffered the highest loss of 499 square kilometres (sq km) of forest cover in entire Northeast.

Among the districts of the state,Tamenglong district (108.5 sq km) has the maximum loss of forest cover after Churachandpur (250 sq km).

Otherwise out of the State’s total lost area, 491 sq km is in the hill districts while the rest in other areas.

On the other hand according to the Forest department sources, Manipur has also lost 784 sq km bamboo cover between 2017 and 2019.

Since it (eco-stove) saves more than 50 per cent of firewood, the dependency on forest firewood could be reduced to more than 50 per cent, the TCF official who is also a key member of Rainsforest Club Tamenglong felt.

The SRIJAN project will assess the impact of these stoves on the reduction of fuelwood consumption and provide further details as we continue monitoring, he said adding that a group of one hundred families is currently in the process of switching over to the new stoves.

“TCF team is providing all the support and monitoring,” he added.

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