TODAY -

The Khengjang - Yangoulen Fish Conservation Zone
- An ecological initiative -

Fr Paul Lelen Haokip *



Introduction

Against the backdrop of deteriorating environmental conditions, creation care is a relevant option for sustainable behaviour. Creation care can manifest in different ways. One such care is "The Khengjang-Yangoulen Fish Conservation Zone" project under Chandel district of Manipur, India. This unique project is positioned in the Eastern Himalayas, which is one of 36 global biodiversity hotspots.

The unique topography of these mountains, combined with the southwestern monsoon winds from the Bay of Bengal promotes a multitude of diverse flora and fauna. It has been learnt that due to severe exploitation of freshwater ecosystems in this biodiversity hotspot, nearly 14% of the fish species are considered threatened, while 9% are near threatened.

While the Wildlife Protection Act ofIndia (1972) offers a legal shield to terrestrial and some of the aquatic animals and marine mammals, unfortunately, less emphasis has been accorded to freshwater fish biodiversity(Sarkar et al., 2008).

This project is an initiative to incorporate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and western scientific ecological knowledge (WSEK) looking forward to co-creation, integration and co-management arrangements (Bussey et al., 2016).

The Christian perspective that human beings are the pinnacle of creation and lord of all creatures stands against environmental safeguard measures. It is time that biblical values and scientific expertise work together hand in hand for environmental care. The secular and sacred divide is fading. Today, all disciplines of research deal with ecological issues.

Aim of the project

This project has been initiated to conserve fish resources through a community-based fishery management model called Fish Conservation Zones. This is aimed to educate the local population regarding the depletion of fish and involve them in fish conservation community responsibility. Empowerment of the locals to be aware of their surroundings for a proactive stance is the priority.

Ecological conservation

Ramachandra Guha, in his book "Environmentalism: A Global History", highlights natural resource conflicts of the 1970s and 1980s emphasizing the rights of plants, animals, habitats where human activity should be curtailed (Guha, 2014).

The fish may like to speak or make a sound but as soon as it opens its mouth, it is filled with water. Perhaps those elements outside the river ecosystem could mitigate the extinction of fish, and improve their habitat. Care for creation is evident in the Biblical narratives which began with creation and end in a new creation (Moo & Moo, 2018). Saving the voiceless inmates of this earth is a scientific work as much as a Biblical calling.

A recent freshwater biodiversity assessment in the eastern Himalayas potentially list two endangered species namely Schisturakangjupkhulensis and Schistura reticulata. In the above project areas, nearly 20 species of fish were consumed earlier, but now only four or five are available in small quantities.

Other studies also have pointed out the critically endangered and endangered freshwater finfish species such as Horabagrusbrachysoma, Tor mussullah, T. putitora, T. tor, Pangasius pangasius, Osteobramabelangeri, Om-pokpabda, Chitalachitala and Chacachaca (Sarkar et al., 2008). Protection and conservation are imperative.

Protected area

"The Khengjang-Yangoulen Fish Conservation Zone" project falls under the larger project titled "Saving the fish from the Mekong to Meghalaya" funded by The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Bangalore, India wherein Bashida Massar (a Zoology Professor at St Anthony's College, Shillong) and James Haokip (a Professor of Anthropology at Sikkim University) are principal researchers. From the conventional rearing of fish in ponds and tanks, these two researchers are trying to conserve fish in their habitat.

This project research has pointed out that while Fish Conservation Zones are a novel project for the Indian context, the same has been successfully implemented in Laos and Myanmar where communities directly manage their local resources. They do this by identifying an area where the conservation of fish species is needed,and they typically close this area to all fishing activities.

Rules for the same are imposed by official authorities and the area is monitored by members of the community, providing a haven for fish. Realizing the imminent need to conserve for the survival of almost extinct species of fish and enhancing local availability of the species for consumption, this project has been initiated to conserve fish in their habitat through a community-based fishery management model called Fish Conservation Zones.

Conservation activities

Through this Fish Conservation Zones, the researchers have carried out the following activities:
(1) Transfer and sharing of knowledge about fish
(2) Conservation zones and capacity building of communities across multiple hotspots
(3) Identifying areas that are critical for long term survival of fish
(4) Recording diversity of species and characteristics of the river
(5) Creating a plan for long-term regulation and monitoring of fishing activities
(6) Implementation of the plan and periodical reviews.

Outcomes of the project

The initial project has found these useful pieces of data
(1) Generation of information on the diversity of fish in the Tuivang river, as well as their breeding seasons and locations,
(2) Establishment of the first-ever community based and managed fish conservation zones in India which can become one of the pillars of river conservation strategies for State Governments in North-East India,
(3) Civil society organizations, local community members and local researchers, will be trained in establishing community-based fish conservation zones, fish taxonomy, biology and stream hydrology,
(4) Promote public appreciation for fish conservation and the requirement of ecological flows in rivers.

Conclusion

Each human being is a co-creator, not a destroyer. As much as humans try to preserve their lives, so also must we preserve and conserve the lives of other beings around us. This project is an initiative towards sustainable local conservation and consumption of fish. Depletion of fish is one area of the ecological crisis that threatens the survival of those living nearby. It is also fitting to analyze the causes of such an ecological crisis.

While analyzing the causes, the pro-active task of conservation is profoundly fitting. Community support is imperative for the safeguard of ecological resources. While sustenance-based harvest of resources is unavoidable, destructive exploitation of terrestrial and aquatic habitats greatly harm the ecosystem. Hence the need for conservation and sustainable use of non-renewable resources.


* Fr Paul Lelen Haokip wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The author is a PhD Research Scholar, Department of Sociology & Social Work, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, India.
and can be contacted at paulhowkeep20(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on March 22 2021.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Priyakanta Laishram: Openly Queer Filmmaker
  • Yaoshang Halankar #1 : Gallery
  • World Bipolar Day (30th March)
  • Earthquake preparedness & buildings
  • Just what I see in 'Love' these days
  • COVID-19 Status 29 March : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • A requiem to RV Mingthing
  • Yaoshang & Thabal @ Pune : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Adventure activities : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang Festival organized at Pune
  • Earth Hour: A wakeup call for the Planet
  • Lakes of Rajasthan
  • BJP feasting on disunity of opposition
  • ST for Meiteis and NRC call : Common thread
  • Nongmaithem Tombi Singh's contribution #3
  • N Tomchou: 3 medals @ World Weightlifting
  • Luwangpokpa Multi-Sports Complex : Gallery
  • Installation of opposition-less Govt in Nagaland
  • Stay hungry, stay foolish
  • Tech-driven MSME for Food Security
  • Plan to shelter amid demand for deportation
  • Temporary Shelter Home at Moreh
  • Thabal Competition #2 : Gallery
  • Lembi Leima: Best Film at 1st NE Film Fest
  • COVID-19 Status 26 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Flexing the farming muscles !
  • Is HIV self-test, missing link to reach #endAIDS
  • 'Vested move' in bringing Phizo's body ?
  • Advantages of being disqualified
  • Onus on state to rake in peace time bonus
  • Process of lifting AFSPA : From 2004 to 2023
  • My Memories of Imphal #15 : Download
  • Q&A with Babloo Loitongbam at Netherlands
  • Job Vacancy @ Makok Tech, Bishnupur
  • Drought :: Poem
  • Law as a career choice
  • COVID-19 Status 25 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Day 2 : Punjab students' tour to Manipur
  • Sajibu Cheirao-chingkaba : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Central Univ Punjab exposure tour to Manipur
  • Question of Survival
  • lived without love, not one without water
  • World Tuberculosis Day at Arunachal
  • Pulling out of SoO pact with 3 groups
  • Legal hurdles in nailing drug peddlers
  • Sangai Fest: Moyon Dance : Gallery
  • Will lessons from COVID vaccine rollout ...
  • Of water scarcity: Beyond class room teaching
  • COVID-19 Status 23 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Univ to host students from Punjab
  • Mangrove, the magical tree
  • Ban plastics or set up recycling plants
  • Enforcing ban on single use plastic
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Tri-Nation International Football Tournament
  • Modern Cancer Treatment in Manipur
  • International conference on Natural farming
  • Importance of farm pond for agriculture
  • Drowned :: Poem
  • Poireiton Khunthok (Abridged Translation) #1
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year) : Book
  • COVID-19 Status 21 March : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Implement NRC must precede delimitation'
  • Yuva Samvad - India@2047 organized
  • Serum for hair
  • As you sail through the noises
  • Seizure of PDS rice amid erratic distribution
  • Studying with a purpose in mind
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #3 : Gallery
  • Liquor prohibition in Manipur
  • Lifting Bhagyachandra and elephant
  • COVID-19 Status 20 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Bishnupur Cricket Association meeting
  • Fake News & Disinformation New Challenges
  • Prospect, feasibility of natural farming in state
  • Manipur and water crisis
  • Lamta Thangja @Kangla Gate : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Kabui Dance : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Oil and gas scenario in Manipur
  • NPF's 'Gandhigiri' gestures towards NDPP
  • Spreading happiness as a career choice
  • Afforestation campaign: Test of Govt resilience
  • Poppy plantation & agents of desertification
  • My Memories of Imphal #14 : Download
  • Imphal Turel condition [18 Mar] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Seminar on Awareness about lifestyle diseases
  • Pole Star :: Poem
  • Blunting of AIDS epidemic: zero-complacency
  • Conduct of election to Municipal in Nagaland
  • Saroi Khangba @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel, a yearlong tourist's destination
  • COVID-19 Status 17 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Her Struggle
  • In Nagaland, NDPP rises & NPF falls
  • Dream Zone - School of Creative Studies
  • Sluggish project works abetting water crisis
  • Taking the NRC call to Delhi : Unifying factor
  • Nongmaithem Tombi Singh's contribution #2
  • Highways of Life :: Movie Review
  • COVID-19 Status 16 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Farewell Maharashtra student : Gallery
  • How healthy is your relationship ?
  • G20: Driving women-led development
  • Yogini Temple of Hirapur, Odisha
  • Holistic laws must to cleanse rot in exam
  • All thunder & lightening but no rain
  • Bora Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Deepika Mayanglambam : Felicitated by Y20
  • COVID-19 Status 15 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Will shorter TB regimen reach those in need
  • From a student, Dear Dhanamanjuri University
  • An inspiring story of a fish farmer journey
  • British Council announces STEM scholarship
  • State's reputation at stake as drug...
  • Briefing Union Home Minister
  • Thabal Competition #1 : Gallery
  • International River day at Lairouching
  • COVID-19 Status 14 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Lembi Leima : Film Premeire at Melbourne
  • Ballad For Gloom :: Poem
  • Dialectics of identity & development #2
  • Patriarchy opting for Gender Equality
  • Demand for NRC, panel testifies restive state
  • All set for HSLC 2023 exams
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Railways acts as engine of development
  • The Book of Ichigo Ichie :: Review
  • Platform for women to re-start their careers
  • The rising threat of forest fires
  • Land allotment scam amid uproar over eviction
  • Noting stand of Forest Minister
  • English Pronouncing Skills : Book Download
  • Day 5: Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Representation to PM seeking appointment
  • Condemnation of CM N Biren's interview
  • Eco-friendly management of fall armyworm
  • Honesty is the worst privacy
  • Resistance to Govt efforts to protect forests
  • Tough times call for tough decisions
  • My Memories of Imphal #13 : Download
  • Day 4: Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Why COVID-19 continues to be a pandemic?
  • International Women's Day
  • 'Electricity collaboration' diplomacy in BBIN
  • Day 3: Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports: Yubi Lakpi at Khongman
  • COVID-19 Status 10 March : Govt of Manipur
  • UNHHRC access to Mizoram & Manipur
  • Govt to withdraw from SOO agreement
  • 4 Filmmakers invited for Indie8 Fest
  • Dialectics of identity & development #1
  • Thabal Chongba @Mongsangei #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #1 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2023 #1: Gallery
  • International Women's Day 2023
  • COVID-19 Status 09 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang Sports at Khongman
  • International Women's Day at IBSD, Imphal
  • Nakatheng Chatpa @Kakwa : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 08 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Sports item distributed at Bishnupur
  • Parents :: Poem
  • Call for world peace & harmony
  • Tips to play safe Holi
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba @Imphal : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba @Nabadwip : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang : Nostalgia, tradition & identity
  • GOI pressure on CM Rio to deliver solution
  • Update gun license otherwise
  • Art Exhibition @ RKCS #1 : Gallery
  • NE Convention on Indigenous Peoples Land
  • COVID-19 Status 06 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang (Holi) Festival :: Book
  • Railways: Engine of new growth in NE India
  • Precautionary measures during Yaoshang
  • Persons suffering from Sickle cell disease
  • Training on mushroom at Khangabok
  • Floodlight boon for state's sportspersons
  • Act not think for the future of Meiteis
  • Yaoshang Sen Khaiba : Gallery
  • Students Tour to Nagpur #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Lampak is calling
  • North East endorses Modi but with conditions
  • Elephanta Caves
  • After village chief, anti-poppy vow by legislator
  • The good & the bad of Yaoshang
  • My Memories of Imphal #12 : Download
  • Sangai Fest: Khutpak Chatkoi #2 : Gallery
  • 538th Birth Anniv of Cheitanya Mahaprabhu
  • COVID-19 Status 04 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Gender gap in STEM: Its impact & solution
  • On Rethinking Corruption
  • How sports help in development of women
  • Lanna Thouram of Chaoren #2 :: Gallery
  • Water use during water crisis: Hunphun/Ukhrul
  • COVID-19 Status 03 March : Govt of Manipur
  • World Wildlife Day : Awareness Cycle Rally
  • Farewell to students from Maharashtra
  • Bodoland International Knowledge Festival
  • Startups & NE India connect
  • Minister Biswajit's anti-poppy stand
  • Show no leniency to poppy growers
  • MANITEX @ Nilakuthi #3 : Gallery
  • Dr Surpriya Hawaibam: Ophthalmology Award
  • Time to get back to basics to end TB
  • In light of reintroducing Damodar Swami
  • Can Myanmar-Bangladesh promote ASEAN
  • Play organic Holi with natural colors
  • Must prepare to derive benefit of border trade
  • ST demand has come a long way
  • Likon Sanaba @Ningthoukhong #2 : Gallery
  • State Project Co-ordinator for Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 01 March : Govt of Manipur
  • National Science Day at Lilong
  • Lessons from the inferno @Sainik School
  • Messi -- The Name Is Enough -III
  • Tourism is a cross cutting industry
  • Spike in electricity demand
  • Lungnila : Long wait for justice
  • Hiyang Tannaba @ Loktak #4 : Gallery
  • Nongmaithem Tombi Singh's contribution #1
  • March Calendar for Year 2023 : Tools
  • Saroi Khangba @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Cherry Blossom @Mao : Gallery
  • Lanna Thouram of Chaoren #1 :: Gallery
  • Singju Festival @Heingang #1 :: Gallery
  • 6th Intl Women's Polo #1 :: Gallery
  • Lui-ngai-ni Fest @ Chandel #1 :: Gallery
  • Mangani Leihun of Chaoren #2 :: Gallery
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri :: Gallery
  • Jiribam Keithel [June 2022] #2 :: Gallery
  • MK Binodini's centenary - oral literature
  • Aribam Syam Sharma :: Filmography
  • Olympians & National awardees of Manipur
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar for 2023