Conserving India’s Wildlife Through Integrative and Holistic Approaches

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Conserving India’s Wildlife Through Integrative and Holistic Approaches Mayukh Chatterjee Wildlife Trust of India

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India – Wildlife And People Over 350 species of Mammals, 1224 species of Birds and nearly 3151 species of Reptiles, Amphibians and Fishes

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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

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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

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India - Why People Are Important Traditional preservationists Need vs. Greed ~ changing fast! Wildlife and Nature ~ back seat

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Holistic Conservation – What and Why? Holism ~ look at the larger picture Complex Issues ~ multifaceted inclusive problems Sustainability ~ complete conservation

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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

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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

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Two Case Studies

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Greater Manas, Assam – Case Study 1 (26?35’-26?50’N, 90?45’-90?15’E) Abode for wildlife ~ Over 1000 km2 of pristine forests and grasslands

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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.

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Greater Manas – The Crisis 1980s Bodo uprising ~ decimation

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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

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Habitat Securement 2003 ~ Priority areas mapped for restoration and reclamation 2011 ~ 340 Ha of vital habitats reclaimed and added 2012 ~ Patch restoration ongoing

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Rescue and Rehabilitation 2003-2010 ~ 7 Rhinos, 10 Elephants, 7 Black bears, 4 Clouded Leopards and 1 Tiger rehabilitated

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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

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Legal and Policy 2010 ~ BTC declares Greater Manas as Protected Area 2011 ~ UNESCO removes Greater Manas from Danger List

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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

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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

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Capacity Enhancement 2006, Supporting Frontline Forest Staff ~ over 50 staff 2007-2013, Training CBOs ~ over 450 staff in 8 CBOs

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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

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Nagzira-Nawegaon, Maharashtra – Case Study 2

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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

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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

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Habitat Securement 2010 – 2012 ~ Attention is focused on connective corridor, surveys and mapping begin Species occupancy and usage Threats Legal background

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Legal and Policy 2011 ~ Declaration as Tiger Reserve ~ success in 2013 2012 ~ Proposal for protection of corridor ~ ESZ, 2012 Expansion of NH7 halted

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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

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Community Work 2010 ~ Two villages prioritized (Jambulpani and Sodalagondi) 2011 ~ Intensive community work planned and initiated

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Community Work Intensive Community work initiated Over 300 fuel efficient cookstoves distributed 5 Biogas plants installed 8 Community orchards developed Backyard grazing promoted

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Other Projects… A total of 42 projects spread across 13 states across India Employ integrative and holistic approaches over long periods of time.

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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

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THANK YOU! www.wti.org.in