IFS Officers learn more about the role of NGOs in the field of wildlife conservation in India
These in-service IFS Officers, who are undergoing Mid Career Training Programme (MCTP) from Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA) belong to various state / central government cadres and are working in the ranks of Divisional Forest Officers, Conservator of Forests and Chief Conservator of Forests. Many of the participants are also working in organisations outside the forest department and in State Governments.
Ms Nidhi Srivastav, IFS, Faculty, IGNFA, introduced the purpose of organising this visit and explained how it is crucial for the participants to understand the role played by the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) such as TRAFFIC and WWF-India in augmenting the current efforts and programmes of government bodies.
Dr Saket Badola IFS, Head of TRAFFIC India, welcomed the participants and said, “TRAFFIC is a global wildlife trade monitoring network and one of the important programmes of TRAFFIC in India is to strengthen the current capacities of wildlife law enforcement organisations and bridge gaps. For this TRAFFIC works closely with state and central government”.
“Introduction of wildlife sniffer dogs for combating wildlife crime in India by TRAFFIC clearly highlights the important role that an NGO can play in bringing in new practices for protection of wildlife and supplementing efforts of the government”, said Dr Badola.
Mr Ravi Singh, CEO and Secretary General, WWF-India while addressing the participants gave an overview of the work undertaken by WWF-India and the impact it has created towards enhancing ecological security. He spoke about the various WWF-India offices across India and how each one is working in its respective region to supplement the efforts of the forest departments and other government organisation for conservation of natural resources.
Mr Singh further added, “Though the species conservation programme of WWF-India has been in limelight for many years, the organisation has now expanded itself into areas of conservation of various lesser known species, rivers and wetland conservation; environment education and others”.
Dr Sejal Worah, Programme Director, WWF-India gave a brief snapshot of the working of WWF-India and discussed the activities of various programmes and their structure. She highlighted success stories from different programmes and how they are making an impact. She also discussed the linkages between WWF programmes and various government agencies.
Brief presentations on WWF-India’s works were also made by Mr. Romit Sen on the ‘Maintaining the e-flow of rivers’ and by Mr. Yash Sethia on ‘Conservation efforts in Western Arunachal’.
The Q&A session that followed at the end involved Mr Ravi Singh, Dr Sejal Worah, Dr Saket Badola and Ms Nidhi Srivastav responding to the queries raised by the participants on various programmes of WWF-India and TRAFFIC, clearly signalling towards a raised level of interest among them about how NGOs can help and support government initiatives for accomplishing larger goals. Such programmes from time to time will help strengthen synergies between enforcement agencies and NGOs working for conservation and protection of wildlife.