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Community based Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation - RUFFORD

Darjeeling Prerna, with the the support of The Rufford Small Grants Foundation, have been working on community based mitigation of Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) since 2012. Working in five fringe villages around the Singalila national park, an initial study identified a myriad of small animals causing major crop and livestock damage, and highlighted the need for an integrated action management plan with a focus on mountain Human Wildlife Conflict, as the current HWC focus is plains- and mega fauna- centric.

A successful pilot project in Samanden which explored biofences and alternate cropping as a means to mitigate and manage HWC was then rolled out to the other five villages. The community-based research that we were able to undertake as part of this project, was filed at the West Bengal Fact Finding Commission on Environment (Non-Judiciary) North Bengal Bench, and the paper ‘Human-Wildlife Conflict, Challenges for conservation and livelihood security in Sikkim and Darjeeling’ was presented at the Gangtok, Sustainable Mountain Development Summit 2012. The issue has been raised at subsequent sustainable mountain development summits as well as the Meeting of the Mountain States.

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This led to collaborations with ATREE and WWF-India on this issue. More details of the ongoing work can be found here - link to current WWF project.

We are continuing to document the incidence of HWC in the area with a view to  providing better support to farmers and communities.