National Workshop on Development of Guidelines for Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation in India

27 Feb, 2020

A national workshop on Development of Guidelines for Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation in India was jointly organised by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), State Forest Department of Uttarakhand, and GIZ under the Indo-German project on HWC Mitigation in India at New Delhi on February 27th, 2020.

The Project is working towards developing the National Strategy and Action Plan, State-level Strategies, Action Plans and SOPs on HWC mitigation to facilitate a common understanding and consensus among key stakeholders in India, on key approaches and possible solutions for mitigating human-wildlife conflict in India. To this end, the Project has also partnered with the Wildlife Institute of India.

The workshop started with the inaugural addresses and welcome remarks from Dr. S. K. Khanduri, retired Inspector General of Forest (Wildlife) MoEFCC, Mr. D. V. S. Khati (retired PCCF & CWLW, Uttarakhand), Dr. H.S. Pabla (retired PCCF & CWLW, Madhya Pradesh), Dr. A. K. Bhardwaj (Retired PCCF Kerala and current Senior Fellow, WII) and Mr. P.C. Tyagi (Retired PCCF Tamil Nadu and current Senior Fellow, WII) and Dr. S. Sathyakumar, Scientist G, Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

The participants included 49 experts from diverse backgrounds, such as current and former forest department officials, scientists and experts of eminent institutions such as Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), and wildlife conservationists from The Corbett Foundation (TCF), WWF India, Wildlife Trust India, Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), and renowned journalists, communication experts and independent experts on elephant, leopard, sloth bear, wolf, nilgai, wild pig, blackbuck, Indian gaur, crocodile and rhesus macaque.

Dr. Neeraj Khera, Team Leader of the Project shared an overall concept, plan and status of development the National and State Strategy and Action Plans and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for key selected species and issues. Rest of the session focused on feedback and questions for the coordinating lead authors and lead authors of the SOP groups from workshop participants, forest officers and other sectors and stakeholders.

The afternoon sessions of the workshop focused on development of the field-testing plan of the SOPs: Elephant, Leopard, Indian Gaur, Nilgai, Wild Pig, Rhesus Macaque, Sloth Bear, Black Buck, Crocodile, Snakes, Media Strategy. This was followed by an open round of questions and concerns regarding field testing of SOPs and agreement on the date, location, and sites for specific SOP field testing.

The workshop ended with the final notes from Mr. R. H. Khwaja, Retired IAS and Secretary of Government of India, Dr. S. K. Khanduri, retired Inspector General of Forest (Wildlife) MoEFCC, Mr. D. V. S. Khati (retired PCCF & CWLW, Uttarakhand), Dr. H.S. Pabla (retired PCCF & CWLW, Madhya Pradesh), Dr. A. K. Bhardwaj (Retired PCCF Kerala and current Senior Fellow, WII) and Mr. P.C. Tyagi (Retired PCCF Tamil Nadu and current Senior Fellow, WII).

The workshop was facilitated by Dr Pradeep Mehta, GIZ India.