Niranjan Kaggere Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 03:43:38 AM
For the conflict ridden Myanmar, Karnataka appears to be a ray of hope! Wondering what the connection would be? Well, it has nothing to do with democracy. It’s all about curbing poaching and smuggling activities in its forests.
Worried over the fast dwindling population of big cats in the country’s forests due to relentless poaching by the Chinese, the neighbouring government now wants the help of the state forest department to conserve tigers. The topic came up for discussion when Myanmar forest minister U Win Tun along with a few officials of the forest department visited Bangalore and interacted with their counterparts in the state.
The delegation was invited by the Timber Merchants Association of Bangalore.
State forest minister C P Yogeshwar told Bangalore Mirror, “Though the meeting was an informal one, the topic of conservation of tigers did come up for discussion. Tun appreciated our efforts and techniques adopted to conserve big cats and sought to know if we could share them to conserve tigers in his country. We assured them of all possible help from our side.”
Sources said Tun, who appreciated the forest department’s measures to popularise teak plantation in various parts of the state as part of its social forestry programme, also agreed to support the drive besides exporting required amount of timber from his country.
India, despite being a timber-rich country, is facing shortage of teak and increasingly dependent on Africa, especially Ghana, to meet its needs.
An official of the forest department told Bangalore Mirror, “Myanmar is home to endangered Indo-Chinese tiger species (panthera tigris corbetti). The tiger reserve in the country’s Hukaung valley is home to the largest remaining population of the species. We were told that there were less than 500 tigers left including those in Hukaung and Kachin states which share their border with China. The increased poaching activities by Chinese poachers have forced Myanmar to scout for advanced technologies to conserve the big cats.
They were happy with our measures like the Tiger Protection Task Force, upgradation of mobile squads and anti-poaching camps and use of scientific instruments in maintaining the salubrious population of tigers in our tiger reserve.”
The state forest department has now invited the delegation to visit various tiger reserves of the state either before the monsoon or post-monsoon season to study and understand the tiger conservation measures it has implemented.