Training of Panchayats and Potential Members of Community-level Primary Response Teams at Kodagu

09 Apr, 2022

Two-day training on “‘Holistic Approach to Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation” for Gram Panchayats and Potential Members of Community-level Primary Response Teams (PRT) was conducted jointly by GIZ, Karnataka Forest Department, and ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (ICAR-NAARM), with support from Kodagu Zilla Panchayat, Rural development and Panchayati Raj department, on from 7-8 April 2022 at the ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra (ICAR-KVK) Gonikoppal, Kodagu, Karnataka, under the Indo-German Project on Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation in India.

A total of 31 participants including executives and members from seven Gram Panchayats - Kannangala, Siddapura, Kedamallur, Ammati, Thithimathi, Badagabanangala, Nokya, Birunani and Balele Panchayat; researchers and experts from ICAR institutes, independent wildlife experts, and retired forest officers, attended the training on 7th April. On 8 April, 27 participants attended the training, including executives and members from following seven Gram Panchayats: Hosur, Kanoor, Hathur, Bilugunda, Kutta, Halugunda, Ponnampet; researchers and experts from ICAR institutes, independent wildlife experts, and retired forest officers.

The training focused on generating awareness to reduce accidental encounters of humans with wild animals, enhancing competencies of potential community PRT members, and contributing to reducing their vulnerability to human-wildlife conflict and zoonotic diseases. This training combined the content of four trainings suggested for community PRTs. The reason was that the training group consists of only Panchayat members, while the community-PRTs have not been formed. Therefore, this training was organised as a pilot event, following which community-PRTs will be formed and then the community PRTs will be trained on individual trainings by the local training partners.

Training commenced with a welcome address by Dr Neeraj Khera, Team Leader of the Indo-German Project on HWC Mitigation, and welcome remarks by Mr M M Jaya, Former Divisional Forest Officer, Karnataka Forest Department, Dr Bharat Sonatakki, ICAR-NAARM, Dr Saju George, Head, ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Gonikoppal and Dr B M Naveena from ICAR-National Research Center on Meat. Dedicated sessions were facilitated to develop a common understanding among the participants on ecosystem services provided by wildlife in the landscape, knowledge café on measures to prevent accidental encounters with wild animal in the landscape, brainstorming sessions on type of mitigation measures-taking a holistic approach- where participants discussed and prioritised mitigation measures for addressing the drivers and pressures in their area, prevention measures, responding to emergency situations, reducing the vulnerability of people and wild animals. The discussion on reducing the vulnerability of humans and wild animals specifically focused on issues related to using alternate crops and cropping pattern. Special discussion was facilitated on preventive measures for zoonotic disease, health and safety, taking a One Health approach. An action café during the end of the training on both days focused on the Panchayats identifying HWC mitigation priorities for their respective areas and discussing the modalities of establishing community-level Primary Response Teams anchored in their Panchayats. Participants reflected on their learning during the training and provided useful feedback for the future training sessions as well.

The last session of the training focused on reflecting and discussing on the role that communities can play in HWC mitigation. A plan for follow-up meetings with the Panchayats was worked out, to move forward in establishing community-level PRTs in these Panchayats, equipment support, and for the detailed discussions and surveys from the ICAR experts to receive their support on crop damage reduction measures.

Training was facilitated by Dr Neeraj Khera as lead trainer, with Mr M M Jaya and Dr K Karthik as co-trainers. Resource persons in the training included Dr Sudha Nautiyal, CEC; Dr B M Naveena, ICAR- NRC Meat; Dr Bharat Sonatakki, ICAR-NAARM; Dr Kesavan Subaharan, ICAR-NBAII, Dr Ramesh Naik, ICAR-NAARM; Dr Saju George and Scientists of ICAR-KVK, Gonikoppal; Ms. B. J. Priyadarshini, and Ms. G. Sree Pooja, Young Professionals. ICAR-NAARM.


About the project

The Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation (HWC) project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and State Forest Departments of Karnataka, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. The project 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—humans and wildlife—are protected from conflict. Read More

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