DFO Dr Sentitula explains forest conservation initiatives being undertaken in Mokokchung District

BY | Wednesday, 5 June, 2024

On the occasion of World Environment Day 2024, Nagaland Tribune interacted with Dr Sentitula, IFS, Divisional Forest Officer, Mokokchung, and asked her about the initiatives being implemented in the district of Mokokchung, Nagaland, by the Department of Forest to conserve forest. We also asked the DFO how the Department is involving the community to participate in the movement.

Here is what Sentitula, IFS has to say.

  1. What initiatives is the Forest Department currently undertaking to combat deforestation and promote reforestation in our area?

Dr Sentitula: The initiative taken to combat deforestation and promote reforestation by the Mokokchung Forest Department is through the Nagaland Forest Management Project (NFMP) & Forest and Biodiversity Management Project (FBMP) implemented within the Villages under Mokokchung District.

Especially in the current Jhum areas, Jhum Agro Forestry (JAF) model is being implemented in the project villages, under the recently abandoned Jhum areas, Jhum  Fallow Forestry (JFF) land  Jhum Conversion to Forestry (JCF) is implemented and those areas where jhum has been abandoned for quite a number of years and the community want to convert it into Community Conservation area, the Jhum Conversion to Community Conservation areas (JCC) is implemented and the existing Community Conservation area if the community further wants to protect and expand then, Protection and Expansion of Community Conservation area (PEC) is being implemented.

Till the recent years under the JAF model the area covered is 545-hectare planting 2,61,000 saplings; under JFF model the area covered is 230-hectare planting 89,000 saplings; under JCF model the area covered is 300-hectare planting 1,17,000 saplings; under JCC model the area covered is 265-hectare covering 1.03,000 saplings and under PEC model the area covered is 3600-hectare planting 4,45,000 saplings. Under the FBMP the coal mining areas within villages will be rehabilitated by the Department through community participation.

  1. How is the department addressing the issue of wildlife conservation, and what measures are in place to protect endangered species within the district?

Dr Sentitula: Villages within the district are being sensitized/encouraged to have Community Reserve areas where hunting and logging are prohibited so as to protect the endangered flora and fauna.

Besides these, the Department sensitizes the local community to preserve the local flora and fauna through campaigns, social media and local radios. The Department conducts wildlife sensitization program at various Villages in order to tackle Human-Elephant conflict.

There are 9 Community Reserves (CR) notified by the State Government under Mokokchung District covering an area of 7111 Ha. Periodical awareness programmes on wildlife conservation are conducted. Collaboration with schools, departments, public organizations, ward leaders, etc. are undertaken to put forth the message of conservation as well as carry out in practice.

Frequent patrolling is conducted to check hunting and selling of wildlife. The department promptly responds to public call of wildlife rescue and makes provision for its release. During such rescue works, the staff reaches out to the people in encouraging them to create a safe space for wildlife too.

The department through GPDP meetings in the villages have reached out to the people and sensitized them on giving their conserved areas a legal status of community reserves under wildlife protection act, 1972. Through campaigns, the public have also been sensitized on the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 that covers all aspects relating to endangered animals & the penalty for endangering them.


Dr Sentitula, IFS, Divisional Forest Officer, Mokokchung

  1. Can you provide an update on the success and challenges of the district’s current environmental conservation programs, particularly those focused on preserving biodiversity?

Dr Sentitula: The major challenges faced by the Department is balancing the Conservation and Livelihood and the traditional mindset of the community where hunting is still prevalent in most of the villages and hunting as a sport for certain section of people

  1. What steps is the forest department taking to involve local communities in environmental conservation efforts, and how can residents contribute to these initiatives?

Dr Sentitula: Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) are formed in all the project villages for management of the Forest and involve the community in forest conservation efforts and this is in conformity with the National Forest Policy of involving the people in management, development and protection and also taking into account the land holding pattern.

  1. How many tree saplings have been distributed to the public this year by the district forest department, and what species are included in the distribution?

Dr Sentitula: For the Year 2024, the attached table is the distribution for public in Mokokchung District itself, on account of World Environment Day 2024.

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