Mitigating Conflicts for Effective Community Engagement: Side Event at CMS COP 13

19 Feb, 2020

A side-event on 'Community- Based Conservation: Mitigating conflicts for effective community engagement' was hosted jointly by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, GIZ India and Forest Departments of Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Ladakh, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh at the CMS 2020 CoP13 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on 19 February 2020.

The event aimed at bringing in experiences from Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh and Ladakh on different approaches and efforts to mitigate conflicts for securing trust and cooperation of local communities in overall conservation and development agenda.

The side event commenced with welcome address and context setting by Mr Soumitra Dasgupta, IGF (WL), MoEFCC, followed by presentations by Dr Neeraj Khera, GIZ on how the Indo-German Project on HWC Mitigation is incorporating the good practices of community participation in developing the National, State and Local HWC strategy and Action Plans in India.

Case studies on leopard and elephant conflict mitigation in Uttrakhand were shared by Dr Koko Rose, DFO Tehri and Dr Aditi Sharma, Senior Veterinary Officer, Uttarakhand Forest Department.

Mr Rajnish Kumar from MP Forest Department shared the case on what it takes to manage co-existence of humans and tigers around Bhopal city.

Mr Manoj Kumar from Karnataka Forest Department shared the good practices and successful use of a mobile application to facilitate local communities in receiving timely compensation.

Mr Sajid Md Sultan, CWW of the UT of Ladakh showed the story of community-based conservation in Ladakh and the good practices on ecotourism.

Mr P B Pradhan from Sikkim shared the existing situation of human-wildlife conflict and the measures taken by Forest Department to reduce the impacts on local communities.

The brainstorming session following the pane presentations included issues such as possible impact of tourism on further aggravating the conflict situation, use of virtual fencing as early warning system, and the issues of how much compensation actually compensates the losses due to human wildlife conflict.

A total of 85 delegates participated in the side event