Wildlife week is celebrated from the 1st of October to the 7th of October every year to create awareness and bring about an understanding of the threats our wild species face in the country. This year around, I jot down ten ways in which you can make a difference for conserving Goa’s wildlife.
1. A simple way to protect vital wildlife hotspots like the Western Ghats is by being aware of your local surroundings. Understand the fact that Goa’s Protected Areas harbors wildlife that is unique and threatened. Knowing this itself is the first step towards conservation.
2. Support the field staff of the Forest Department. Remember, the Forest Department is a custodian of our forests. The need to support them in their work and ensure that the goal for wildlife protection is met with is our duty as well.
3. Be proactive. Raise your voice wherever necessary and lobby for conservation in your own backyard environment to begin with. Spread the message.
4. Reduce your consumption of natural resources by making a conscious effort to sustainably use depleting natural resources. Wherever possible return to green and clean technologies. This will help conserve wildlife habitats in a long way.
5. Curb the menace of plastic and reduce, recycle and reuse all non-biodegradable resources. This itself will help wildlife conservation to a large extent.
6. Conserve Water-whether it is in your home or office environment, the need of the hour is to conserve fresh water and its sources-lakes, rivers wells, springs etc across the state.
7. Promote local diversity-plant indigenous tree species and support local open pollinated seeds. Grow a tree yourself and help increase the green cover of our state.
8. Avoid the usage of pesticides and insecticides in gardens and farms. Lobby for a chemical free environment as this will help conserve lesser-known wildlife and directly enrich soil composition over a period of time.
9. Join a wildlife cause. Volunteer time or resources for a local wildlife organization or an individual working in the field of conservation.
10. Help raise awareness amongst children and youth- start from your own child and ensure that children understand the value of wildlife and respect it.
Celebrate this year’s Wildlife week by addressing key issues that connect urban living with wildlife and habitat conservation. Remember, every natural resource you use is derived from a forest or allied source. The sooner we understand the better it would be for our wild denizens and us. Keep the faith.
By Nirmal U Kulkarni