Challenges and Interventions
Though endowed with rich wildlife species, the region is in the grip of many conservation challenges. Some of the issues are affecting this region are:
- Thriving wildlife trade and poaching of animals
- Degradation of wildlife habitat due to over-exploitation of forest resources like fuel-wood, fodder,and overgrazing.
- High levels of human-wildlife conflict.
- Inadequate political will for wildlife conservation.
- Less conducive forest management practises for conservation in reserve forests.
The following initiatives have been undertaken:
- Capacity building of frontline staff of Forest Department and other enforcement agencies on legal and anti-poaching issues. WWF-India also provides infrastructure support to the Forest Department to set-up anti-poaching camps, supply patrolling vehicles, boats and field gear for frontline staff to curb wildlife crime.
- Providing alternative means of livelihood to marginal communities around the PAs and wildlife corridors to reduce impacts on forests. This includes training on improved agricultural and animal husbandry practices.
- Mitigating human – wildlife conflict by assisting the stakeholders in putting up physical barriers like stone wall or energised fencing and providing interim relief payment to victims in case of loss of cattle. The later is implemented mainly around the Corbett Tiger Reserve in partnership with The Corbett Foundation and also ex-gratia payment in case of human casualties.
- Continuous lobbying with government and other conservation partners for developing political will and effective policy environment at appropriate levels.
- Addressing energy needs of marginal communities, especially those located around critical corridors, by providing alternative energy means like biogas, LPG and fuel efficient stoves.
- Emergency relief was provided to flood affected staff of Forest Department and villagers around the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve including in 2008 and 2009.
- Education and awareness programmes involving students and local communities have been carried out regularly in this landscape.