Understanding Assam’s Sustainability Issues
Authors: Pratyush P. Sarma and Sagarmoy Phukan
Abstract: Assam was the first state in India to have undertaken the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a long-term guiding strategy for development. At the end of five years, before the state election, evaluating the work on SDGs in Assam is essential to follow up on the commitment of the government. But before we start evaluating the SDGs it is important to understand the development road Assam has taken over the last 100-150 years and why we must make a new turn. This study has tried to understand certain loopholes which have hampered the progress of SDGs in Assam along with how much Assam has been able to address its sustainability issues and how we can progress. We have reviewed the performance of the state based upon the official performance index released by NITI Aayog, Government of India. Our review of the index reflects that Assam has performed relatively poorer than the other states of the country. However, the ethnic culture of the region was deeply rooted in nature which the state can now adopt and harness to achieve its SDGs.
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Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals; Assam Election; Indigenous Knowledge; Citizen Science; Polycentric Governance
A Survey on the Level of Awareness on the Major Wildlife Conservation Projects and the Potential Benefits of Ecotourism in Wokha District, Nagaland
Authors: Tsonchumi Odyuo, Nyanbeni Patton, Lanusunep Pongen
Abstract: Nagaland’s major sites for ecotourism are the exquisite landscapes and a variety of cultures and customs which highlights the State’s potential for ecotourism. The people of Wokha district in Nagaland mostly make their livelihood through farming, hunting, and gathering and selling of NTFP collected in and around the forest. A survey was conducted to understand the awareness of people in the district on the conservation projects and the opportunities for ecotourism in the district. The survey focussed on two migratory birds – Falcon amurensis and Manouria emys (Asian Giant Tortoise). The survey concluded that 62% of respondents came to know about Falcon amurensis through media which shows the importance of digital media in creating awareness and education. 29.8% of respondents were aware about the ongoing project for conservation of Manouria emys whereas 50.9% of respondents were unaware, which reflects possible risk of conservation efforts. Hunting is still a significant cause for the decline and endangerment of fauna in Wokha district. The state departments need to focus on educating locals on the importance and significance of wildlife conservation, and the opportunities that arise from the following pursuits. The survey also found that 84.2% of respondents believed that ecotourism in the district can be a driving force for economic growth and development in the district. Currently, tourism or ecotourism is meagre due to the lack of adequate infrastructure, facilities, and government processes that results in untapped potential for ecotourism in Wokha district, Nagaland.
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Keywords: Ecotourism, wildlife conservation, community, awareness