Strengthening Rapid Response teams and Equipment Handover at Gorumara Wildlife Division, West Bengal

10 Jan, 2021

Gorumara Wildlife Division and its adjoining landscape is one of the Project Pilot landscapes for the Indo-German Project on Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation. Key HWC mitigation measures include facilitating capacity development of the Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) and support in establishing an Early-Warning-and-Rapid Response system. The RRTs are a key part of our Early Warning and Rapid Response (EWRR) system to address emergencies related to human-wildlife conflict. Capacity Development of the RRTs includes competence-based trainings, equipment support, knowledge network with other RRTs, and standardized processes and protocols.

In order to function efficiently, the RRTs require state-of-the-art equipment to monitor wildlife, implement rescue operations and also to ensure personnel health and safety during such operations. Hence, procurement of equipment and necessary training on its use is an essential activity area for the project. Equipment has been procured by GIZ, under this Project, for 3 division level RRTs and 7 Range level RRTs in Gorumara and adjoining landscape. An event was organized to formally hand-over the document form MoEFCC-GIZ to WBFD, and subsequent distribution of the RRT kits to the selected RRTs.

Three kits for the division level RRTs (consisting of 65 different equipment), seven kits for the Range level RRTs (consisting of 25 different equipment), two DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus (Micro Drone), two DJI Mavic Mini (Nano Drone) and ten AWT IR Satellite Collars for elephants, were handed over by the MoEFCC-GIZ to Karnataka Forest Department. The equipment included drones, night vision equipment, camera traps, safety nets, animal handling gear, climbing gear as well as personal safety equipment gear.

The equipment was subsequently distributed to seven range level RRTs and three division level RRTs by Mr V.K. Yadav, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (WL) and Chief Wildlife Warden, West Bengal, the presence of Mr V.K. Sood, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr Rajandra Jhaker, Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr G.P. Chettri Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr Subhankar Sengupta Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr Nisha Goswami, Divisional Forest Officer of the Gorumara Wildlife Division and other senior officials of the West Bengal Forest Departments and members of the selected RRTs, including Tukriyajhar, Bagdogra, Sukhna, Mal, Khunia, Binnaguri and Birpara Range RRTs as well as Kurseong, Jalpaiguri and Gorumara Division level RRTs.

The handing over event was followed by a demonstration training on the use of the equipment for various situations in HWC. Ms Aritra Kshettry, Consultant Wildlife Expert-GIZ lead the demonstration. The project also initiated the process of documenting capacity needs assessment process for the RRTs, and a rapid training needs assessment, in line with the ‘Supplementary Framework for Establishment and Capacity development of HWC Mitigation Response Teams’ a supplement to the Draft National HWC Mitigation Strategy and Action Plan. Gorumara and adjoining landscape is the first landscape where RRTs are being developed in line with the draft National Framework.


About the project

The Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation (HWC) project implemented by GIZ in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and State Forest Departments of Karnataka, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, aims at providing technical support at the national level, and effective implementation of HWC mitigation measures in selected states of India. The project pilot sites are: Haridwar Forest Division and adjoining landscape including Rajaji Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand, Gorumara Wildlife Division in West Bengal, and Kodagu Forest Circle in Karnataka.

The main objective of the project is that the rural population in project areas, where agreed guidelines and tools are applied to mitigate human-wildlife conflict, is better protected against it. The project takes the approach of harmonious coexistence, by ensuring that both—human and wildlife—are protected from conflict. Read more

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