Published 26 July 2011

Manipur Judiciary extends support for wildlife conservation

India, 26th July 2011—The Gauhati High Court - Imphal Bench, in association with TRAFFIC and WWF-India last weekend organized an orientation programme in wildlife conservation for the judiciary in Manipur, Imphal.

Mr A. Kharsi-ing, PCCF, Manipur, lights a lamp during the orientation programme in wildlife conservation. © TRAFFIC

The programme aimed to raise awareness among judicial officers of Manipur State on issues related to the rich biodiversity of Manipur and various issues related to its conservation, the nature and scale of the illegal trade in wildlife products across the region, and various policies, laws and rules related to biodiversity conservation.
Twenty seven senior officials of the Manipur Judiciary participated in the programme that was inaugurated by Hon. Justice TNK Singh, Judge, Gauhati High Court- Imphal Bench. 

Shri A Kharsi-ing, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), Manipur was the Guest of Honour at the inaugural session. Shri A.K. Joshi, Special Secretary- Forests, Manipur was also present during this occasion. 

In his key note address, Hon. Justice TNK Singh, Judge, Gauhati High Court- Imphal Bench said: “The Indian Judiciary has played an important role in helping conserve the rich natural heritage of our country. However, it is important that it is regularly updated on the latest developments in this field. Such workshops will go a long way in addressing this crucial need for this region which is a hotspot of biodiversity.”

Shri A Kharsi-ing, PCCF- Manipur further added: “Wildlife conservation requires a multiagency approach and every stakeholder needs to play a significant role in addressing this challenge. Effective and timely wildlife prosecutions can help secure the fate of wildlife conservation in India.” 

Mr Samir Sinha, Head of TRAFFIC India said, “The Higher Judiciary has played a significant role in championing the cause of forest and biodiversity conservation in our country. It is important that the same is shared across the judicial system up to the district level courts too, as these are the first points for application of judicial scrutiny for such matters. We are hopeful that we will use this opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences to strengthen effective implementation of wildlife laws on the ground.”

“TRAFFIC India and WWF India are thankful to the Gauhati High Court- Imphal Bench for providing support in organizing this programme” he further added. 

The programme was participatory in nature and included interactive lectures, case studies and group discussions. 

The broad topics covered during the programme included: judicial activism and biodiversity conservation; biodiversity wealth of Manipur and engagement with local communities for its conservation; laws on biodiversity conservation with special reference to the North East India, forest and wildlife wealth of Manipur and legal issues for their conservation and an overview of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India. 

The key resource persons at the programme were Mr Samir Sinha, Head-TRAFFIC India; Mr Rajkumar Robindro, Producer- Doodarshan Kendra; Dr. Biseshwori Thongam, Scientist- Institute of Bioresources & Sustainable Development; Mr M.P. Singh, Conservator of Forests, Forest Department, Manipur; Mr A.D.N. Rao, Advocate- Supreme Court and Mr Ritwick Dutta, Advocate- Supreme Court.