I am an independent photographer based in India. I have spent a good amount of time coding digital image processing algorithms before choosing photography as my primary medium to narrate stories. I am a bachelor in technology with a...
While humans across the world seems to be working towards the extinction of their environment, Khonoma, a village of north-eastern India, has woken up to the cries of nature. The links between biodiversity and climate change run both ways: biodiversity is threatened by climate change, but proper management of biodiversity can reduce the impacts of climate change. Conserved or restored habitats or restoration of an ecosystem can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus helping to address climate change by storing carbon. Ecosystem-based adaptation, which integrates the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services into an overall adaptation strategy, can be cost-effective and generate social, economic and cultural co-benefits and contribute to the conservation of biodiversity.
Khonoma, a village in northeastern India inhabited by the Angami, one of the indigenous or tribal people of the state of Nagaland, demonstrated a resolute will to conserve biodiversity and wildlife. By establishing and strengthening systems of natural resource management and conflict resolution, including through the development of the 'Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary', the village is exemplifying a search for appropriate and sustainable development. All this is embedded in the traditional ethos of the village, coupled with an openness to experiment with new technologies and ideas from outside the village. In 1998, the Khonoma village council declared its intention to protect about 2,000 ha (20 sq.km.) of forest as the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary (KNCTS). KNCTS banned hunting, logging, jungle burning besides banning abstraction of natural resources like dzükou lily, orchid and other wildflowers in order to protect the rich biodiversity of the village. Khonoma Youth Organization (KYO) is entrusted to monitor and supervise the conserved area. Even though the core area of conservation is 20 sq.km. but village youths operate in a total jurisdiction of 123 sq.km. This conservation depicts a remarkable transition in a state where animals are not just killed for sustenance but as a centuries-old tradition. Khonoma is probably the only place in Nagaland, India where hunting was banned in the entire village throughout the year. At times ban on hunting created problems when wild pigs or other wildlife damaged crops or wild dogs attacked local livestock including Mithuns( a species of bison). For those specific cases, KYO gave permits to hunt but the KNCTS also gave sanction to KYO to penalise individuals if they hunted any other animal than those declared as vermin/pests.
Note: This gallery does not include all images from this project.