Kongan Village

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 Location Ecosystem Type   Conservation Type   Area(hectare) Legal status 
Naganimora, Mon Forest Ecosystem Conservation Not Available Joint Forest Management

Case Study (2009)

Background

In addition to the detailed case studies presented in this volume, Nagaland is full of stories of different village communities having regulated the use of certain patches of forests in various ways. Some have declared hunting bans; others have prescribed no forest use at all; while yet others have declared seasonal ban on hunting or other uses. The degree of success in implementing the rules also varies from community to community. In Zonheboto and Phek districts, signposts have been put up along many roads by village youth associations, warning readers that the area is under strict protection. According to wildlife enthusiasts who visit the state regularly, these signboards are effective enough to deter hunters. In a state like Nagaland this is of great significance. These areas are among the few where one can see direct signs of any wildlife in the otherwise silent forests of Nagaland. Kongan village is one of the examples on which we could not gather detailed information and is hence briefly presented below.

Mon District is largely inhabited by the Konyak tribe. Konyaks are traditionally ruled by hereditary chiefs known as Anghs. The village council, which is called Ching Woipa in Konyak dialect, consists of representatives from each clan of the village; normally the heads of the eldest families of the clans are deputed to it. This august body handles the overall affairs of the village, and its functions may be classified into administrative, executive and judiciary functions. The village council formulates village policies and supervises forest use within the communities and between the clans. The village has community land, owned by the entire community; clan land, owned by various clans together; and private lands. The village council is responsible for management of the community land and resolving of conflicts as per the customary laws. The village council’s mandate is to protect and conserve the forests in the village by issuing orders to protect forests from forest fires and encroachments. The Kongan Village Council has also issued orders banning hunting of wild animals and use of explosives and poisoning of the rivers for fishing. The private forests are taken care of by individuals. The usufructs (resources required for day-to-day use) from the community lands are equally distributed among the villagers. The village is also part of the state government’s Joint Forest Management scheme.

1 Source: Hockto Sema, Divisional Forest Officer, Dimapur and M.Lokeswara Rao, Conservator of Forests (NTC), Kohima, ‘Community Forestry in Kongan village: A Case Study’, undated.

This case study was part of the Directory on Community Conserved Areas (2009), published by Kalpavriksh. The directory can be downloaded here.

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