Developing a National Strategy on Mitigating Human-Wildlife Conflict: Meeting of Coordinating Lead Authors

17 Jul, 2019

The Indo-German Project on “Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation (HWC)” in India facilitated a half-day meeting for Coordinating Lead Authors of the National Strategy and Action Plan (NSAP) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for resolving HWC issues on 17th July 2019 at Indira Paryavaran Bhavan, New Delhi.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Siddhanta Das, Director General & Special Secretary, MoEF&CC and Co-chaired by Mr M.S. Negi, Additional Director General (WL), MoEF&CC. In his welcome address, Mr Soumitra Dasgupta, Inspector General of Forests (Wildlife), MoEF&CC, spoke about HWC in the current scenario and appreciated the technical support from GIZ in addressing the issues of HWC efficiently. He emphasised that developing national and state-level strategies and action plans and SOPs for different species are major steps towards resolving HWC issues in India.

Brochures on the HWC Competency Framework, Course brochure for Senior IFS officers and State Forest Service officers were released by Mr Siddhanta Das, Mr M.S. Negi and Mr Soumitra Dasgupta during the meeting.

Dr Neeraj Khera, Team Leader, HWC Project, presented the concept note on NSAP on HWC Mitigation in India and explained the need and process for developing NSAP and SOPs as well as the roles of Coordinating Lead Authors (CLAs) of each SOP. She further shared that the Zero Draft of NSAP and SOPs will be pilot tested across the three pilot sites under this project and feedback from the field will be used to update the documents.

This was followed by presentation of the SOPs from the CLAs, sharing the outline, approach, key issues and detailed work-plan for completing the document, with support from the lead and supporting authors in the group.

Following CLAs presented the SOP framework:

  • Dr Vidya Athreya: SOP Leopard
  • Mr Ajay Desai: SOP Elephant
  • Dr S Sathya Kumar: SOP Sloth Bear
  • Dr K Sankar: SOP Gaur
  • Mr H S Pabla: SOP Nilgai
  • Mr Qamar Qureshi: SOP Wild pig and SOP Rhesus Macaque
  • Dr S P Goyal: SOP Black Buck
  • Dr C Ramesh: SOP Crocodile
  • Mr H S Pabla: SOP Nilgai

GIZ presented the first prototype design of the National HWC database, which was developed with support from experts from Pitney Bowes. While the need for a national-level database was reiterated, there was also a discussion on the project deriving support from the current pre-existing models and databases.