Balipara foundation hosts Assam Regional Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics Forum 2024

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The Balipara Foundation, in collaboration with Assam Forest Department, Government of Assam, Kaziranga National Park, and Wildlife Conservation Trust, hosted the Regional Assam Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ on 27th-28th June 2024. The  Forum, titled “Safeguarding The Natural Assets : Insights from Forest Rangers and Guards in Protected Areas,” took place over two days at the State Institute of Panchayat and Rural Development in Biswanath Chariali, Assam.

The Forum provided a platform for foresters, guards, and forest rangers to share their field experiences and contributions to protecting and conserving biodiversity amidst climate challenges. It showcased how these frontline workers transform challenges into innovative solutions and adeptly manage conflicts. They discussed practical solutions to climate-related challenges and the ways they navigate complex situations in the field. In the process, they often find themselves captivated by the rich species diversity in Assam. Their stories underscored the deep connection they have with the environment and their unwavering commitment to safeguarding it. The forum not only celebrated their achievements but also provided valuable insights into the practical aspects of biodiversity conservation in the face of adversity.
One forest guard shared, “I come from the river island of Majuli, and while on duty, I witnessed the beauty of river dolphins for brief moments of 20-30 seconds. Their beauty mesmerizes me, and I am proud to contribute to their preservation and protection.”

An important message that emerged from the conversations is the need to prioritize personal well-being while also protecting species. As foresters and guards are often on the frontlines of emergencies, understanding their challenges is crucial. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with basic training on the use of first aid kits, how to handle emergency situations with CPR, and how to respond to incidents such as heart attacks, seizures, and injuries.

As an outcome of this, and to impart the necessary knowledge and skills to frontline forest staff so they can respond to emergencies effectively, the Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) conducted a one-and-a-half-day training program on trauma management techniques. Dr. Vijay Tate, Senior Health Officer, Health from WCT addressed the training with various emergency scenarios, including but not limited to injuries due to animal or human attacks, vehicular trauma, fall from height, snake/scorpion bites, burns & heat-strokes, high grade fevers, epilepsy attacks and other medical conditions.
Karishma Ahmed, Chief Communications Architect of the Balipara Foundation, stated, “The forum highlighted the critical role of collaboration, continuous learning, and capacity building and well-being in safeguarding nature and visions to build capacities and skill-building knowledge for the frontliners. The well-being of our guardians and protectors is intrinsically linked to the well-being of our natural environment.”
Launched in 2007, the Balipara Foundation works with rural communities to restore forests, break the cycle of poverty, and create economic opportunities tied to rewilding and conservation. Under its wing,the Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum, it unites people to enhance skills and capacity for forest protection and ecosystem well-being.
 

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