Young former researcher explores community cultural practices for coexistence with wildlife
Guwahati, November 2: A young researcher associated with Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org), the region’s premier biodiversity conservation organization, has delved into the ways in which community eco-cultural practices, rooted in religious beliefs, can contribute to harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife.
The researcher recently presented his findings at a national-level student conference, shedding light on the results of his work in this field thus far. Abhijit Saikia, a talented researcher from Aaranyak, showcased his research titled “Ecocultural Perspectives of Human-Elephant Interactions in River Island, Majuli” at the Conservation Science Student Conference (SCCS), held at IISC, Bangalore.
In his study, Saikia emphasizes the significant role that religious beliefs play in shaping the socio-cultural fabric of local communities, leading to the development of eco-cultural practices that promote peaceful coexistence between humans and elephants in Majuli, a culturally rich river island district in Assam.
The implications of this research are far-reaching, offering potential long-term solutions to the growing issue of human-elephant conflict (HEC). By incorporating these ideas into policy-making and awareness programs, we can work towards sustainable resolutions, strengthen institutional frameworks, embrace cultural diversity, and foster more effective community engagement.
This study was conducted by Dr. Namita Brahma from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati Off Campus, and Dr. Vibhuti Prasad, a senior scientist from Aaranyak. Abhijit’s master’s thesis was carried out under their guidance.
1. Why is this research important?
This research sheds light on how community eco-cultural practices, inspired by religious beliefs, can foster coexistence between humans and wildlife. It offers potential long-term solutions to the issue of human-wildlife conflict and provides insight for policy-making and awareness programs.
2. What were the main findings of the study?
The study highlights the significant influence of religious beliefs on the socio-cultural context of local communities. It showcases the development of eco-cultural practices that enable peaceful coexistence between humans and elephants in Majuli, Assam.
3. Who conducted the research?
The research was carried out by Abhijit Saikia, a young researcher from Aaranyak, in collaboration with Dr. Namita Brahma from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati Off Campus, and Dr. Vibhuti Prasad, a senior scientist from Aaranyak.
4. What are the potential implications of this research?
By incorporating the findings of this study into policy-making and awareness programs, we can work towards sustainable solutions, strengthen institutional frameworks, promote cultural diversity, and enhance community engagement in addressing human-wildlife conflict.