India BHUBANESWAR: To mark the Wildlife Week, Wildies, a Bhubaneswar-based wildlife conservation and research forum, organised a seminar on ‘Forest Fire and Its Impact’ here on Saturday.
Speaking on the occasion, chief guest Siddhanta Das, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, (Wildlife), said even though forest cover has increased quantitatively, its quality must improve. Forest fire is a major threat to the quality of the jungle as it destroys its very nursery ground, he added.
Das said the State Government has undertaken mitigation measures through collection of data from satellites on fire sites, high speed air blowers and deployment of fire squads apart from educating the community. The role of voluntary organisations like Wildies who form a bridge between the local and dependent community with the forest staff is very important, he added
Retired CCF and State Coordinator for Wildlife Trust of India Ajay Jena spoke on the impacts of forest fire on wildlife as well as the villagers. DCF Akshaya Pattanaik also spoke.
During the seminar, four ground-level wildlife activists were awarded for their contribution to the field by Wildies. Director (Operations) Subhendu Bhattacharya, Director Satyabrata Mishra also spoke. Forest officers, wildlife wardens and wildlife activists as well as forestry students of OUAT were present.