Mama Natung-led Airgun Surrender Abhiyan in Arunachal Pradesh Earns UNESCO Recognition in Malaysia

In a historic moment for Arunachal Pradesh, Mama Natung’s leadership in the Airgun Surrender Abhiyan garnered international acclaim at UNESCO’s International Conference on Biosphere Reserves in Sabah, Malaysia, today on November 13, 2023. The initiative, aimed at wildlife conservation, was recognized as India’s best success story, and Dr. Damodhar A.T., representing the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, accepted the honor on behalf of the Arunachal Pradesh government.

Under the visionary leadership of Pema Khandu, the Hon’ble Chief Minister, and Mama Natung, the Hon’ble Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the Airgun Surrender Abhiyan commenced in March 2021. The initiative, which encouraged voluntary surrender of airguns and licensed guns to protect wildlife, gained momentum across the state, with more than 2400 airguns and 9 licensed guns surrendered to date.

Mama Natung’s hands-on approach, conducting district-level programs and garnering overwhelming community response, has been pivotal in the initiative’s success. The impact is tangible, with birds returning to areas where they were rarely seen before, signaling positive wildlife conservation outcomes.

The initiative received accolades at the 6th North East Green Summit and was highlighted in the 84th edition of Mann Ki Baat, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the efforts. The Arunachal Pradesh government expresses gratitude to the nature-loving people for embracing the Air Gun Surrender Abhiyan, turning it into a model wildlife conservation success story globally.

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