The agricultural fields of the villagers adjoin the buffer area of the park. When there is a shortage of fodder inside the protected area, especially in monsoon and winter season, wild herbivores migrate to the cultivated fields and cause heavy crop damage. Occasionally, carnivores follow the herbivores igniting further man and animal conflict. The Forest Department has installed electric fences on
the forest boundary adjoining the cropping fields with the support of NEDA (Non Conventional Energy Development Agency). The Forest Department also compensates the community for crop raiding or cattle lifting.
CEE with funding from Keidernan Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF) stepped in 2005 with a project Community Driven Natural Resource Management for Biodiversity Conservation in Dudhwa National Park. The project aimed to develop capabilities for sustainable livelihoods amongst the village community that would in turn ensure conservation of biodiversity in the region.
Understanding Issues and Participatory Action Planning
The first phase of implementation started with collection of detailed information of the park, status of the natural resource base, conservation issues and threats, initiatives being implemented by Forest Department, etc. Awareness and discussion workshops were organized at department and
community level to build initial rapport and understanding about Natural Resource Management, its related practices and the role of the communities in it. The exercise helped prepare a community based plan and agenda for action. In order to initiate a dialogue with students, a Dudhwa Utsav (festival) was organised during Wildlife Week.
A cluster of four villages closer to the protected area where mobilization of the local community has been carried out were selected. Village biodiversity conservation committees were set up to facilitate active participation of the communities. Ultimate goal of biodiversity committee formation was to institutionalize the collaboration between forest department and local communities.
A baseline survey was done to assess the extent of dependency of people on forests. It also helped in a needs assessment of the villagers living close to the national park. Based on the baseline data analysis and need assessment a framework for action component was drawn up.
Even otherwise, where should we expect the animals to go when we are destroying their habitat and food sources to built luxury villas and resorts? Man and animal conflict will end up with caging or killing of animals, because no one will chose them over human kind. There is a lot of other mess that comes with modernization and urbanization. So, brace for it. Good luck with the urbanization.
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Generally the victims are the wild animals
Alva said Uttarakhand was endowed with natural beauty. "According to the Central Planning Commission, the state is at the first position in the country in terms of environmental conservation. The Jim Corbett National Park which showcases the states rich biodiversity is celebrating its platinum jubilee this year. However, due to the rising man and animal conflict in the state, there is loss on account of damage being caused to both. Measures will have to be explored to reduce this damage," she said.
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