SHILLONG, July 27 - India and Bangladesh have signed a �draft agreed points of action� on Trans-Boundary Elephant Conservation here today.
The draft was signed between Siddhanta Das, Director General of Forests and Bangladesh�s Chief Conservator of Forest, Md Shafiul Alam Chowdhury.
The final agreement would be signed in June 2018 in Bangladesh in the third round of talks between the two neighbouring countries.
Broadly, the two nations have decided to identify migratory routes of elephants that passes through the International borders and take necessary steps so that such migration takes place smoothly.
�We have decided to construct gates at 14 points across Indo-Bangla border wherever there is a fence. Twelve of these gates would be in Meghalaya and one in Assam,� Das informed.
The two countries have also decided to establish a joint working group within 60 days to evolve standard procedures and protocol.
This group would involve Deputy Commissioners, Divisional Forest Officers, Range Forest Officers, Border Guards of both nations to facilitate trans-border crossing of elephants.
Das said that steps would also be taken that these points of elephant crossings or elephant corridors are not take advantage of by anti-socials of both countries.
The two countries have also decided to share information about annual migration of elephants through the borders and also create a data base for future references.
�The use of technology for the cross border migration would be encouraged and the border guards of the two nation would be sensitised on the use of such technology,� Das added.
Steps would also be taken to reduce man-animal conflict, which has increased over the years due to the loss of habitat. In Meghalaya alone, during the last seven years, a total of 14,754 incidents of human-elephant conflict have been reported.
These incidents include six human deaths, 48 cases of human injuries, damage of 1,325 houses and cases of damage to crops.
�These States are home to more than 9,000 wild elephants, out of which 1,800 elephants are found in Meghalaya alone. The estimated population of wild elephants in Bangladesh is around 200,� Das added.