India-Wildlife and People

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Presentation made by Mayukh Chatterjee of Wildlife Trust of India at the one day workshop organized by IndianWildlifeClub.com on 28th June, 2014 on "Living in harmony with nature"

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India-Wildlife and People

  1. 1. Conserving India’s Wildlife Through Integrative and Holistic Approaches Mayukh Chatterjee Wildlife Trust of India
  2. 2. India – Wildlife And People • Over 350 species of Mammals, 1224 species of Birds and nearly 3151 species of Reptiles, Amphibians and Fishes
  3. 3. India – Wildlife And People • Over 650 Protected Areas (Tiger and Elephant Reserves, National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Reserve Forests) ~ 4.9 % of geographical area • Over 1.2 billion people! • Consumers and protectors
  4. 4. India - Why People Are Important • 17% of world population • Nearly one thirds directly depend on natural resources and critical ecosystems for survival • Nature can be only preserved by the commons
  5. 5. India - Why People Are Important • Traditional preservationists • Need vs. Greed ~ changing fast! • Wildlife and Nature ~ back seat
  6. 6. Holistic Conservation – What and Why? • Holism ~ look at the larger picture • Complex Issues ~ multifaceted inclusive problems • Sustainability ~ complete conservation
  7. 7. Integrated Conservation – What and Why? • Integrated Conservation? • Communities are major stakeholders • Unethical ~ one’s fancy are another’s predicament • Exclusion is a failure • No sustainability without integrated conservation
  8. 8. Wildlife Trust of India • Only NGO with 8 distinct skill sets ~ founded in 1998 Rescue and rehabilitation Habitat securement Species recovery H-W conflict mitigation Legal and Policy Mass awareness Community work Capacity enhancement • All skill sets work together in projects to provide a holistic, integrative approach
  9. 9. Two Case Studies
  10. 10. Greater Manas, Assam – Case Study 1 • (26º35’-26º50’N, 90º45’-90º15’E) Abode for wildlife ~ Over 1000 km2 of pristine forests and grasslands
  11. 11. Greater Manas– A Vision • Home of the Bodo people, the Tiger, the Indian one horned rhinoceros, the Asian elephant and a myriad of other beings. • A National Park, a Tiger and Elephant Reserve and a World Heritage Site.
  12. 12. Greater Manas – The Crisis • 1980s Bodo uprising ~ decimation
  13. 13. Greater Manas – The Crisis • 1980s Bodo uprising ~ decimation • At least two large mammals ~ locally extinct • Other wildlife and habitats lost • 1992 ~ WHS in danger • 2003 ~ Bodoland Accord
  14. 14. Habitat Securement • 2003 ~ Priority areas mapped for restoration and reclamation • 2011 ~ 340 Ha of vital habitats reclaimed and added • 2012 ~ Patch restoration ongoing
  15. 15. Rescue and Rehabilitation • 2003-2010 ~ 7 Rhinos, 10 Elephants, 7 Black bears, 4 Clouded Leopards and 1 Tiger rehabilitated
  16. 16. Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation • 2006 ~ Establishment of Kokrajhar Wildlife Transit Home • 2006 ~ Establishment of a Rescue MVS and team • 2008 ~ Elephant Proof Fencing (18 Km) and 4 Ex-Gratias
  17. 17. Legal and Policy • 2010 ~ BTC declares Greater Manas as Protected Area • 2011 ~ UNESCO removes Greater Manas from Danger List
  18. 18. Mass Awareness • 2010 ~ Campaigns ~ 2 small campaigns; full fledged ‘Manas Pride’ campaign • 2010 ~ Animal Action Education ~ over 20 schools/1200 students •2008 ~ Over 40 villages targeted for mass awareness
  19. 19. Community Work • 2010 ~ Adoption of green livelihoods Firewood dependence reduction (182 cookstoves) Weaving training and support for 35 women (70 handlooms/1 center) Support for horticulture (1 horticulture shed and cash crop plantations; mustard, ginger, chilly and turmeric) Small businesses (4 families; tailoring and grocery shops) 8 CBOs constituted and supported
  20. 20. Capacity Enhancement • 2006, Supporting Frontline Forest Staff ~ over 50 staff •2007-2013, Training CBOs ~ over 450 staff in 8 CBOs
  21. 21. Species Recovery • Bringing back the Eastern Swamp Deer (Rucervus d. ranjitsinhii) • 2011-2014: Studies in Kaziranga initiated on the subspecies • Preparation underway to translocate individuals to Manas
  22. 22. Nagzira-Nawegaon, Maharashtra – Case Study 2
  23. 23. Nagzira-Nawegaon – The Landscape • Two small and disjunct areas ~ connects 3 main tiger habitats • Home to tigers, leopards, Gaur and several other fauna ~ but neglected • Not under stringent protection ~ Wildlife Sanctuaries
  24. 24. Nagzira-Nawegaon – The Crisis • Large parts are of connective patches under FDCM • Surrounded by over 200 villages ~ over 4000 households • Severe degradation and increasing human-wildlife conflict • Habitat degradation and fragmentation – 2 major highways
  25. 25. Habitat Securement • 2010 – 2012 ~ Attention is focused on connective corridor, surveys and mapping begin Species occupancy and usage Threats Legal background
  26. 26. Legal and Policy • 2011 ~ Declaration as Tiger Reserve ~ success in 2013 • 2012 ~ Proposal for protection of corridor ~ ESZ, 2012 • Expansion of NH7 halted
  27. 27. Mass Awareness • 2011 ~ Local schools targeted for Animal Action Education (over 1000 school children) • Consultative meetings with nine villages – 3 BMCs formed • A large scale campaign is being planned
  28. 28. Community Work • 2010 ~ Two villages prioritized (Jambulpani and Sodalagondi) • 2011 ~ Intensive community work planned and initiated
  29. 29. Community Work •Intensive Community work initiated Over 300 fuel efficient cookstoves distributed 5 Biogas plants installed 8 Community orchards developed Backyard grazing promoted
  30. 30. Capacity Enhancement • Over 230 Frontline Forest Staff have been trained, including reserve forest staff • Over 120 staff have been equipped with patrolling equipment • Anti-Poaching and Conflict Mitigation Training ~ June 2014
  31. 31. Conflict Mitigation • 2012 ~ 2 km long electric fence bordering Jambulpani, setup • A Protection camp was built and handed over to FD • Water holes on forest fringes are replenished every summer
  32. 32. Rescue and Rehabilitation • A proposal has been submitted to MoEFCC for Establishment of a Rescue Centre, that will cater to not just Nagzira and Nawegaon, but also to Kanha NP, Pench TR and Tadoba- Andhari TR
  33. 33. Other Projects… • Western Himalayas Mountain Ungulates • Valmiki Tiger and Gharial Recovery • U.P. Big Cat Conflict Mitigation • Southern Western Ghats Elephant Corridors • West Coast Marine Project • Garo Green Spine
  34. 34. Other Projects… • A total of 42 projects spread across 13 states across India • Employ integrative and holistic approaches over long periods of time.
  35. 35. The Road Ahead… • Intensify integrated and holistic approaches • Linking initiatives to sustainability ~ pull out in gradual phases • Include ‘family planning’ as a key exercise • Increase focus on children ~ our future torchbearers
  36. 36. THANK YOU! www.wti.org.in

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