Need to prepare mitigation plan to curb man-animal conflict: NWAP

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Jan 2018 12:07:12


By Kaushik Bhattacharya

Develop national level database to document frequencies of conflicts

Central and State Governments started survey to collect primary and secondary data on conflict

Man-animal conflict has been increasing at local and regional levels in the country in recent years making citizens and authorities concern worry about it. The third National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) (2017-31) has suggested to draw a comprehensive, species and region specific, conflict-mitigation plans that can prevent or reduce man-animal conflict and avoid adverse impacts on both human and wildlife. The third action plan comes into effect after the first plan drawn in 1983 and second from 2002 till 2016. Latest action plan has been released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India, recently, proposing certain measures in the wildlife management for safety of animals as well as human beings.

NWAP emphasised to develop a national level database to document frequencies of conflicts, quantum of damage to human life and property and wildlife deaths due to conflicts. Identify and document the wide range of wildlife species that regularly come into conflict with humans, and prioritise the species that cause maximum damage to humans and are most adversely impacted due to the conflict. It is important to understand the ecological basis of conflict in order to develop appropriate mitigation strategies. Causes of man-animal conflicts lie in a complex set of factors related to human transformation of habitat, behavioural ecology of wildlife species, and climate variability.

The action plan also suggests to constitute a well-trained and adequately equipped workforce in the State Forest Departments (SFDs) to actively address man-animal conflicts situations locally, especially those involving dangerous large mammals like tigers, elephants etc.

According to the action plan, concerning authorities should also conduct extensive education and awareness programmes to reduce growing hatred among people towards wild animals involved in conflict situations. Central and State Governments have commenced joint surveys to collect primary and secondary data on man-animal conflict at national, regional and state level, and to prioritise species and areas for focused interventions. Governments are conducting these surveys with the help of scientific institutes and NGOs.

Any long-term conservation measures such as taking a landscape approach to integrate Protected Area management with outside lands are only possible through people’s co-operation. Thus, all conflict mitigation measures should be developed on the basic premise of engagement of all primary stakeholders, especially local communities, the action plan suggested.