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WTI and Odisha Government Hold First Review and Monitoring Meeting for OSCOW-MAG
The first Review and Monitoring Committee meeting for the preparation of OSCOW-MAG in progress in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, January 20, 2017: As part of the process of preparing the Odisha State Comprehensive Wildlife Management Guidance (OSCOW-MAG), Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) conducted the first Review and Monitoring Committee (RMC) meeting under the project on January 17, to update the Government of Odisha on the progress relating to the preparation of the guidance documents.

In December 2015, WTI and the Forest and Environment Department, Government of Odisha, had entered into an agreement entrusting WTI with the task of developing a comprehensive Wildlife Management Guidance for the state. Odisha is the first state in the country to undertake the preparation of such a plan, and a three-tier consultative process was deployed to develop a guidance that would encompass the entire interface between humans and their activities, and the diverse wildlife of Odisha. The greatest challenge was that the guidance should be practically implementable in the field.

It was against this backdrop that the first RMC meeting was recently held, under the Chairmanship of Mr Siddhant Das, IFS, Chief Wildlife Warden, Odisha. Mr Das emphasised the inclusion of Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for critical issues related to wildlife management. Mr SS Srivastava, Head of Forest Force, congratulated WTI in taking up the challenge and expressed the hope that the guidance documents would be completed soon. Other dignitaries that participated in the meeting were Mr Debidutt Biswal, Special Secretary, Forest and Environment Department, Mr Saroj Patnaik, Mr SK Dutta and Dr Bijay Ketan Patnaik.

In his presentation to the RMC, WTI’s Dr Jagdish Kishwan, Principal Investigator of the project, gave an update on the progress of the project and highlighted the issues requiring critical attention in the respective circles and divisions of the state. Dr BC Choudhury, Co-Principal Investigator, provided a briefing on the policy prescriptions to be highlighted in the comprehensive wildlife guidance.

Mr HK Bisht, Regional Chief Conservator of Forests (RCCF) Baripada; Mr Suresh Pant, RCCF Bhawanipatna; Mr Lingaraj Otta, RCCF Rourkela; Mr SK Acharya, Director Nandankanan zoo; Mr Shashi Paul, RCCF Berhampur; Mr LK Tiwari, RCCF Sambalpur; Dr S Panda, RCCF Angul; and Mr M Mohan, RCCF Koraput gave their inputs and suggestions for the finalisation of the Divisional Wildlife Management Guidances (DIW-MAGs). It was agreed that a final round of circle level consultations would be held to finalise the DIW-MAGs of each circle.

The State Coordinator, Mr AK Jena; Project Coordinator, Dr Prajna Panda; Circle coordinators of eight circles; and Technical Officer, Ms Kalloli Dutta were also present at the meeting.
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