Training Day for Sohagi Barwa Wildlife Sanctuary Staff
An often overlooked but critical necessity for effective protection of wildlife is regular training of the frontline forest staff. Being on the forefront of protecting India’s forests, the forest staff need to be kept up to date about the latest information and best practices from varied fields such as wildlife conservation, law and enforcement aspects as well as effective monitoring.
Sohagi Barwa Wildlife Sanctuary
The Sohagi Barwa Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Maharajganj District of eastern Uttar Pradesh and is part of one of WWF-India’s priority tiger landscapes, the Terai Arc Landscape. The sanctuary is home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna including tigers. A part of the Sanctuary is contiguous with the Valmiki Tiger Reserve of Bihar.
Earlier, to help the staff of the Sanctuary undertake regular patrols and control wildlife crime, WWF-India, in partnership with Aircel Ltd. had donated a Bolero Camper vehicle.
Later, on request of Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Sohagibarwa Wildlife Division, Uttar Pradesh, WWF-India organized a two-day training from 13-14 June 2012 for the frontline staff of the division. Dr. Rakesh Kumar Singh, Senior Coordinator, Capacity Building, WWF-India, undertook the training in which a total of 70 frontline staff attended. Apart from the frontline staff, all the three Sub-divisional forest officers (SDOs) and the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) also attended the training.
One the first day, the staff were taught about the different bio-geographical zones of India. This was followed by a detailed module on the importance of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972, its definitions and various provisions to curb the wildlife crime in the Protected Areas. The trainees were taught about precautions and procedures to be adopted during search, seizure and writing cases.
On the second day, the tranining was conducted in the field and the trainees were taught about how to plan a patrol route, how and what should be recorded while on patrol. Trainees were also exposed to creation of crime/animal abundance maps and how to identify crime sensitive areas. Methods about maintenance of criminal dossier and its use in crime investigation were also explained. Practical demonstrations were also done on crime scene search and collection of crucial evidence from crime areas. A practical session on operation of GPS was also conducted. Before the end of the tranining, post training assessment was conducted and trainee’s feedback on the training was collected.
A few days later, Mr. K. K. Singh, DFO sent a letter to WWF-India noting that such training would from now on be organized twice a year to keep the frontline forest staff up to date about the latest information regarding law enforcement and monitoring.
WWF-India will continue to undertake such training and capacity building sessions for the frontline staff of India’s forests wherever required to ensure that they are equipped with the latest knowledge and tools to effectively do their job of protecting our natural wealth.