‘TigerSafe’ a pro-conservation Livestock Insurance Scheme launched in Uttarakhand | WWF India

‘TigerSafe’ a pro-conservation Livestock Insurance Scheme launched in Uttarakhand

Posted on
18 August 2016
Dhela | Uttarakhand: Situated in the buffer of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Dhela village reports more than 35 cases of livestock depredation every year. Livestock depredation by large carnivores results in significant financial losses to cattle owners, often leading to retaliatory killings of suspect animals. Human Wildlife Conflict is thus widely prevalent in the area.
 
To address this recurring economic loss to the community and to check unregulated grazing inside the core area of the TR, WWF-India has initiated ‘Tiger Safe’ –possibly India’s first ever pro-conservation Livestock Insurance Scheme, in partnership with Oriental Insurance Company.
 
This one-of-a-kind scheme, with the primary objective of reducing depredation cases, encourages communities to shift from low value livestock to high-value stall-fed cattle. This also keeps in check unregulated grazing in the surrounding forested areas. As part of the scheme, the livestock owners of the village have agreed not to graze their animals in the core area of the TR, and not undertake unguarded grazing outside the village.
 
Under the provision of the scheme, Uttarakhand Livestock Development Board (ULDB) will offer 50% subsidy on the total premium amount payable for up to 5 animals per owner. WWF-India will offer half of the remaining amount, with the balance being paid by the owner. The distribution of the mentioned cost is applicable for most animals, with variance for some owners, based on caste and income considerations, as specified by ULDB. Such a system will ensure critical inputs of the beneficiaries in the process through the direct financial contribution.
 
In the 1st phase, 43 animals belonging to 29 owners in the village have been insured. All insured animals are tagged, and their market value estimated and recorded. Over the next few months, the scheme will be extended to all livestock owners in the village, based on interest and willingness to pay. While existing schemes like WWF-India’s Interim Relief Scheme and government ex-gratia mechanisms have been extremely successful in reducing retaliatory killing of carnivores, they are often not financially sustainable and also do not incentivize any behavioural changes in the way communities manage livestock. The pro-conservation insurance scheme will not only encourage communities to undertake steps to reduce depredation but also reduce the financial burden on WWF-India and the Forest Department in providing ex-gratia.
 
For further information, contact:
Harshad Karandikar
Sr. Coordinator – Human Wildlife Conflict Management & Capacity Building
Species & Landscape Programme |WWF-India
hkarandikar@wwfindia.net
 
Pooja Chowdhary
Sr. Communication Officer
Species & Landscape Programme |WWF-India
pchowdhary@wwfinfia.net

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