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| Last Updated:: 28/04/2017

Lhagyala Monastery declares part of its forest as Community Conserved Area












ITANAGAR: Mon-Lhagyala Buddhist Cultural Society (MLBCS) and the Kalaktang Tsopa, a confederation of more than 20 Monpa villages, have unanimously decided to set aside a significant proportion of the forests belonging to the Lhagyala Monastery for biodiversity conservation. 




The MLBCS declared the proportion of forests as Mon-Lhagyala Community Conserved Area (MLCCA) during an event organised in Domkho village on April 26 last. This is probably the first instance in the region where a monastery takes interest to set aside its forest resources and declares it as a CCA for the long-term management and sustainable livelihood purposes. 




The CCA is managed by the Mon-Lhagyala Buddhist Cultural Society. The Society currently bans any form of hunting and illegal/ commercial extraction of forest resources from the CCA. Violation of this order will be a punishable offence under the provision of customary laws of the Tsokpa and the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. 




The DFO of Shergaon Forest Division has lauded the efforts of the local community. “This is a good beginning and noble effort by the people of Domkho and other villages, he said while extending his support towards this effort. The president of Kalaktang Tsokpa and executive members of MLBCS also attended the CCA inauguration event. 




The MLCCA, named after the Lhagyala Gonpa (Monastery), falls under the Kalaktang circle of West Kameng district covering an area of 85 sq km. 




The elevation of the CCA ranges between 2500m and 4000m, covering both the temperate and the sub-alpine biomes. It is an important habitat of the red panda (Ailurus fulgens), alpine musk deer (Moschus chrysogater), high altitude pheasants, Asiatic black-bear (Ursus thibetanus), forms the catchment of Domkho Ri (river), crucial water sources for the Domkho-Morshing valley and the downstream. 




The conservation area extends up to the international boundary of Bhutan. Importantly, the CCA shares it western boundary with the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary of Bhutan that owns some of the vast, pristine mixed conifer forest tracts and the diversity of rhododendron species that is said to be the highest in the country. 




The WWF, India has been supporting the local communities and the MLBCS to secure forests for species conservation and long-term management to address livelihood needs of the people. WWF, India will further work with the people and the society to strengthen management practices and define resource use protocols, said WWF, India, Landscape coordinator Kamal Medhi. 




The CCA model is an important tool that can be effective in states like Arunachal Pradesh, where more than 60 percent forest (roughly 30,000 sq km) belongs to local community and is governed by their traditional customary laws.








Source: The Arunachal Times