GUWAHATI, Oct 8 � India, Bhutan and Myanmar are home to some 15,000 Asian elephants � almost half of the entire Asian elephant population. Destruction and degradation of habitat, however, is pushing the elephant population to the brink. In an attempt at addressing the conservation concerns, wildlife experts and conservationists will deliberate on how best to secure a safe future for the elephants.
Balipara Foundation, in collaboration with 14 partner organisations, is organising a two-day �Conservation Platform� on November 6 and 7 in the city featuring a host of eminent environmental thinkers and practitioners. The occasion also includes an international conference titled �Asian Elephants in the Wild: A Dialogue� and the second Balipara Foundation Awards-2014.
The event will open to the screening of the Panda Oscar winning documentary The Last Migration directed by Mike Pandey.
The conference will bring together thought leaders, conservationists, environmental activists, green gurus, sociologists, anthropologists and geographers � from both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders � to deliberate and address issues related to wildlife corridor management, human-elephant conflict mitigation and habitat sustainability mapping.
�The objective of the dialogue is to highlight the threats and challenges facing Asian elephant populations in Bhutan, India and Myanmar, and to chart out a roadmap for trans-boundary conservation between the three countries,� Robin Eastment and Sanjid Dutta, operations executive and chief coordinator respectively of Balipara Foundation, said at a press conference today.
Prof Raman Sukumar, a leading authority on Asian elephants, will deliver the keynote address. Dasho Palijor J Dorji, special advisor to the National Environment Commission of Bhutan and architect of the widely-acclaimed Gross Happiness Index philosophy, will deliver a special address on behalf of the foundation.
Dr Khyne U Mar, popularly known as the Elephant Lady of Myanmar, will present perspectives from Myanmar, while Mr Wangchuk of Bhutan Foundation will offer insights on Asian elephants from Bhutan. Dr Peter Liemgruber of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute will present his ideas on tracking of Asian elephant populations in the Bhutan-India-Myanmar region. WTI and Elephant Family will present case studies of elephant corridor initiatives in Assam and the North-east.
The conference will end with the joint signing of the �Key Resolutions for the Future� by all participating delegates and the formation of a joint action committee to oversee all future initiatives.