[The Khonoma Nature Conservation & Tragopan Sanctuary based in Nagaland involves everyone in the entire community and has been practising conservation for the last 20 years.]
Khonoma Nature Conservation & Tragopan Sanctuary (KNCTS) has won the prestigious India Biodiversity Awards 2021 under the category “Sustainable Use of Biological Resources.” The winners were announced on Saturday at the virtual celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity. The India Biodiversity Awards is a joint initiative by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, National Biodiversity Authority and the United Nations Development Programme.
On receiving the award, KNCTS Chairperson Kezhaseria Meyase told The Morung Express that the community-based initiative involves everyone and represents the entire community. He also highlighted the strategic location of Khonoma, which, he believed is also one of the areas that attracted the jury. The village is at the base, surrounded by paddy fields and in the middle are jhum fields and reserved forests in the upper part, he said.
Another important aspect is the “practices which our forefathers have handed down to us.” Khonoma is known for its unique and sustainable alder-based jhum cultivation which has been practiced since time immemorial. The village has successfully been conserving its forest and sustainably using its resources for the last two decades.
Meyase further noted that “today we are proud to say that the journey of 20 years has assured us that we have contributed something to the humanity and to the nature.”
It may be added here that Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary is a non-traditional institution, which was established on December 11, 1998 and has been greatly instrumental in organizing, monitoring, conserving and preserving the bio-diversity in Khonoma area, which is also home to many endemic and vulnerable species of flora and fauna.
The KNCTS has also expressed its profound gratitude and acknowledged all the stakeholders involved, particularly the Department of Forest, Environment & Climate Change, Nagaland State Biodiversity Board and National Biodiversity Authority, Government of India.
First published by The Morung Express under the title Khonoma Nature Conservation & Tragopan Sanctuary wins India Biodiversity Awards 2021 on 22 May 2021
Read (and download) an older article on this Khonoma initiative Community conservation at a crossroads in Khonoma.
Read an obituary to Mr Tsilie Sakhrie of Khonoma who founded the Khonoma Nature Conservation & Tragopan Sanctuary initiative for the conservation of Blyth’s tragopan (a pheasant).