Human Wildlife Conflict is a much talked about issue in our country. While numerous efforts have been put in place in order to mitigate and prevent Human Wildlife Conflict issues a long term approach in curbing the problem is seldom sought. Given the external forces impacting conservation landscapes and sites, and the inherent “wildness” of wildlife, it is unrealistic to seek to eliminate HWC, or the loss of human or animal lives or crops altogether. It is prudent therefore to design management in such a way to minimise conflict and manage perceptions in the long term.
As such, the WWF Tiger Alive Initiative has come up with a Safe approach to assess the nature of HWC intervention status. During the three days’ workshop, the participants were first introduced to Human Wildlife Conflict impacts and the current status of mitigation and gaps. They were also introduced to Safe system approach of assessment for strategic planning for effective intervention.
Through this assessment, we have grouped the actions relating to HWC into five conflict Elements, i.e., Policy, Prevention, Mitigation, Understanding the Conflict, and Response and Monitoring. As per this assessment, effective HWC management programs require these six Elements to be accounted for and none should be implemented in isolation. Human Wildlife Conflict Safe Systems is a suite of actions across all six elements that contribute to a single long-term goal for an area: to make it safe; Safe for people, assets, wildlife and habitat.
The participants through focussed group discussion, answered to pre-set questions in the Safe Approach to assess the safety of four major components, i.e People and their assets and Wildlife and their Habitat. Results were generated from the responses show in which element do we lack in addressing the HWC. As such, policy interventions and strategic plans can be developed to address the gaps.
The workshop, first of its kind in Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park was attended by RNR Extension agents and geog representatives from the two geogs. It is funded through the on-going WWF supported project, “Intensive priority Conservation through Community participation for maintaining via Biodiversity and Ecological Connectivity in B2C2 landscape”
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