Workshop to Commence Pilot Implementation of Advance Zero Draft of Guidelines on HWC Mitigation

21 Dec, 2020

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) Government of India and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), together with the State forest departments of Karnataka, Uttarakhand and West Bengal are implementing the Indo-German Development Cooperation Project on “Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation in India” (2017-2021), where some of the key outcomes are development of a National HWC Mitigation Strategy and Action Plan (HWC-NAP), State HWC Mitigation Strategy and Action Plans (HWC-SAP), species-specific and issue-specific guidelines. The Project has partnered with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to receive knowledge support in development of the plans and guidelines.

Development of these plans and guidelines is being done in a participatory manner engaging all key relevant sectors and stakeholders and putting the zero drafts of the guidelines through an intensive pilot implementation process, to facilitate the key users and stakeholders of these guidelines in testing and reporting on the feasibility and acceptability of the recommendations expressed in the Guidelines (Advanced Drafts), using structured process and tools available in the form of a toolkit.

To take the process forward, an online workshop was organised on 21 December 2020 via Microsoft Teams. The workshop aimed at receiving inputs on the plan and toolkit for pilot implementation of the advance copy of zero draft of guidelines on species and issues in human wildlife conflict mitigation at selected divisions in India, and to discuss the modalities of pilot implementation process.

Mr Rakesh Jagenia, Deputy Inspector General of Forests, MoEFCC and Dr Neeraj Khera, Team Leader, Indo-German Project on HWC Mitigation welcomed the participants. Dr Khera shared draft plan for pilot implementation and the toolkit that will be used to collect information and feedback from the piloting divisions during the pilot implementation phase. Following guidelines (advance zero drafts) are available to commence the process of pilot testing:

  • Guidelines for Mitigating Human-Elephant conflict (advanced Zero Draft)
  • Guidelines for Mitigating Human-Leopard conflict (Zero Draft)

Advance Zero Drafts of the following species will be available for pilot implementation January 2021 onwards: Gaur, Snakes, Crocodile, Macaque, Wild boar, Bluebull, Blackbuck, Bear, forest-media cooperation, crowd management, medical emergencies, and occupation health and safety.

Following roles and responsibilities on the part of the State Forest department were discussed:

  • To identify divisions, where the guidelines can be implemented, preferably in a landscape;
  • To identify a division-level nodal officer and a deputy-nodal officer for each implementing division;
  • To identify a state level officer, for overall coordination and to oversee the pilot implementation process in the States, to ensure that feedback coming from different divisions is aligned and streamlined;
  • To facilitate the experts and consultants engaged by GIZ and WII, with regard to required information, personnel and facilitates for pilot implementation;
  • To facilitate the nodal/deputy-nodal officers, along with other key relevant officers and members of the response teams, in their participation in the fortnightly meetings and other consultation meetings organised by the Project;
  • The participating divisions will use the advanced drafts of the guidelines and tools exclusively within the piloting divisions and for the intended purpose and will not distribute it further.

Mr V.K. Yadav, PCCF (WL) & CWW, WBFD and officers from West Bengal confirmed the names of forest divisions and species and issues in these divisions, where pilot testing will be supported by the West Bengal Forest department.

Mr Ranjan Kumar Mishra, APCCF (WL), Uttarakhand Forest Department confirmed the names of the divisions and species and issues from Uttarakhand. Confirmation from Karnataka Forest Department regarding the divisions and species-issues was received via email. There were several suggestions and inputs received by the core team from GIZ and WII including Mr P.C. Tyagi and Mr S.K. Khanduri, to further update the toolkit and process ahead.

The purpose of pilot implementation process over a period of nine months from January-September 2021 is to receive detailed feedback on the guidelines via four channels:

1. Feedback from the field officers via

  • Interviews with DFOs, PA managers and field teams every fortnight
  • Consolidated feedback from CWW office via State nodal officer at regular intervals

2. Feedback from senior decision-makers via

  • Consultations with CWW and CCFs of SFDs, preferably in a joint forum of neighbouring states

3. Feedback from other sectors and stakeholders* via

  • Multi-stakeholder consultations at state level (Combined with meetings on 'State HWC Strategy and Action Plans' in KA, UK and WB)
  • Multi-stakeholder consultations at landscape/ division level to discuss policy relevant as well as operational issues (*consultations in KA, UK and WB states will be supported directly by GIZ/WII)
  • Joint trainings and simulation drills of forest department personnel with the personnel of the key relevant departments and sectors on HWC mitigation measures, including emergency response situations.

4. Information from the existing case studies and good practices from forest, veterinary, disaster management and other sectors, to ensure that all existing learnings and experiences from all divisions of India are compiled at one place, and can inform the guidelines.

©GIZ/Neeraj Khera


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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