Assam, Nov 19: In Uttarkuchi village, which borders Subonkhata Reserve forest in Manas Tiger Reserve, the Assam Science, Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC) conducted a 15-day training program on ‘Wild Bee Keeping and Processing‘.
State Innovation and Transformation Aayog, Government of Assam, sponsored the climate-resilient component of a programme titled ‘Designing Climate Resilient Practices to Strengthen Management of Kaziranga and Manas Landscape‘.
A technical collaborator of ASTEC, Green Environment Task Force, and two associates, Manas Sousi Khankar Ecotourism Society and Manas Chouki Echo Tourism Society, collaborated in the successful implementation of the programme.
Forest destruction and other development activities are leading to major increases in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, etc., which are harmful to the environment.
In addition to climate-related hazards such as excessive rain, flash floods, droughts, and water scarcity, rising temperatures, habitat loss, human-wildlife conflicts, and reduced crop production, these conditions have exacerbated global warming.
The Manas landscape of the Indo-Bhutan border region has been adversely affected by severe climate change-related problems such as water scarcity, floods, and a human-elephant conflict problem in fringe areas.
Forest resources in the Manas landscape provide livelihoods for several villages in the region. As a result of excessive pressure on forest resources, forest degradation quickly accelerated the pace of global climate change.
As a result, ASTEC is promoting sustainable use of non-timber forest products, including wild beekeeping and processing in areas like Uttarkuchi, through climate-friendly livelihood options.
Hazards associated with climate change, such as water scarcity and conflict between humans and elephants, severely impacted this region. Nevertheless, villagers gradually got involved in restoring forest habitats with the help of local non-governmental organizations.
Through a combination of theory and practical classes, more than 20 participants learned how to keep bees, identify food plants, catch and transfer bee colonies from wild and traditional boxes to scientific boxes, process honey and bottle and label honey, and consider marketing opportunities throughout the 15-day course.
Other topics covered by the course included beekeeping, rainforest restoration, plastic waste management, and conservation of snakes.
Green Environment Task Force, an NGO and technical collaborator of this training programme organized an exposure visit for participants to the bee village Barbari and the honey processing unit there.
ASTEC’s Utpal Das and Samiron Kalita from ENVIS hub, ASTEC’s inauguration function, encouraged attendees to apply for the green skill development programs currently being offered by ASTEC.
Pranjal Bezbarua, a climate-resilient expert, delivered a lecture during the closing ceremony on climate-resilient projects in the Manas and Kaziranga landscapes as well as on an opportunity to restore forests in the region.
Several environmental NGOs, including the Manas Sousi, Manas Chouki, Manas Daragaon, and local communities, along with the locals have contributed to restoring the Subonkhata reserve forest under the Manas landscapes.
As part of the meeting, participants were given certificates, training guides, bee boxes, and instruments related to beekeeping and beekeeping processing.