Namdapha in trans-border plan
India, China and Myanmar will conduct a feasibility assessment next year to find out if three national parks straddling three countries, including Namdapha in Arunachal Pradesh, can be connected through a trans-boundary management system.
Representatives from the three countries met at Nay Pyi Tawin in Myanmar for a three-day conclave from December 21 to develop a strategic programme for climate change adaptation initiative and management of the biologically rich Himalayan ecosystem shared by the countries.
“Feasibility assessment for the Brahmaputra-Salween landscape, including Namdapha, will take place next year,” Nakul Chettri, team leader, biodiversity conservation and management at Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, said.
Chettri said in 2013, India would host a meeting to take the “trans-boundary” concept forward.
The Brahmaputra-Salween landscape comprises several remote but key protected areas in the eastern Himalayas, including Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve in China, Namdapha National Park in India (also a tiger reserve), and Hkakaborazi National Park in Myanmar.
The area is important for global biodiversity preservation — it is home to the takin, red panda, snub-nosed monkey, hoolock gibbon, and Namdapha flying squirrel, as well as many endemic flowering plants.
Chettri said participants in the December 21 meeting drafted a framework highlighting collaborative and multidisciplinary research, regional capacity-building and institutional support.
“Planned interventions will promote trans-boundary biodiversity management, cultural conservation, sustainable economic development, and enhanced ecosystem and socio-economic resilience in the Brahmaputra-Salween landscape,” Chettri said.
The meeting was organised jointly by the ministry of environmental conservation and forestry, Myanmar, and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.
One of the problems plaguing Namdapha is inadequate and untrained staff. Besides, 84 families live in the core area, where there is no eco-development.
“A regional approach is required to manage this mountain landscape, to enhance the livelihoods of the people living there, and to conserve its natural resources for future generations,” said David Molden, director-general of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.
“It is a welcome sign that all the three countries have shown interest. It will take some time to make it a reality as it requires consent from different levels,” L.M.S. Palni, director of the GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development said.
The institute has two units, in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, which undertake research on issues concerning the Northeast.