Training potential members of Community Primary Response teams in Uttarakhand

20 Sep, 2021

Local communities are at the direct helm of human wildlife conflicts. They bear direct brunt of loss of livestock, human lives, and other economic losses as a direct or indirect result of conflicts with wild animals. There is a need to identify key people at the village level for fast response to conflict situations as affected people can easily develop antagonistic and retaliatory attitudes towards the presence of local wildlife.

Forming and empowering the Primary Response Team (PRT) at the village level with community members of the panchayats through participatory approaches will institutionalise a dedicated cadre of village level response team of youth and women at the project pilot sites.

To facilitate the process of forming the PRTs and building understanding and competency of the community response teams, eleven one-day consultations and sensitisation workshops were organised in selected villages of Haridwar-Rajaji Landscape by GIZ in association with Centre for Environment Communication (CEC) and Uttarakhand State Forest Department.

Eleven village level workshops were organised from 10-20 September, 2021 at the project pilot site. After the successful completion of the training, the participant can-

  • Outline the concepts of HWC in the overall landscape and land-use context
  • Illustrate the drivers of conflict, and the responses of people and wildlife in a conflict situation
  • Illustrate the legal, economic, and social implications of HWC
  • Evaluate community-based mitigation measures
  • List possible alternate land uses and livelihoods to reduce the impact of HWC
  • Demonstrate information analysis for effective communication to local community, using specific communication tools
  • Demonstrate the competencies for training local community members on HWC
  • Demonstrate willingness to engage local community members in participatory HWC mitigation
  • Demonstrate willingness to cooperate with/ assist institutions working towards HWC mitigation

The opening sessions included an introduction to the project, workshop and setting of expectations from the participants. There was a special a focus on wildlife species prevalent in the village and current mitigation measures practiced by the villagers in the event of conflict with any of them.

The first session focused on ecosystem services with main emphasis on the ecosystem services provided by wild animals in controlling the population of flora and fauna in maintaining the balance in the ecosystem and biodiversity maintenance. To sensitize the participants about the importance of wildlife, they were briefed about the ecosystem services provided by forest ecosystem and wildlife through a brainstorming method.

It was observed that the participants were primarily aware of provisioning services like fodder, fuel wood, timber, medicinal plants, oxygen and freshwater. Participants were briefed about ecosystem services i.e., provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural services, with main emphasis on forest ecosystem and the services provided by wild animals.

The second session focused on ‘Human-Wildlife Conflict’, its drivers and behaviours of key species, do’s and don’ts, and mitigation of conflict associated with them. The key species covered were elephant, macaque, leopard, snake, blue bull, and crocodile. Mitigation measures as recommended in India’s National Action Plan were also briefed to the participants.

The next session was on Community Primary Response Team. A special session on PRT was conducted during the workshop to inform the community members about the structure, role, and formation process of the PRT. The following guiding principles were highlighted:

  • Harmonious coexistence
  • Participatory approach with community as the lead
  • Effective and wildlife-friendly measures
  • Holistic approach in addressing HWC
  • Effective participation of stakeholders and horizontal and vertical linkages

The final session was on village planning for HWC mitigation in which the participants of each village prepared a plan for community mitigation measures, alternative crops and role of women and panchayats. The participants were divided into different groups to work on the given topics and each group later presented their plans and received feedback and inputs from their peer groups.

The detail of the trainings is given below:

Training Name Villages Attended Total Participants
Training of Potential Community Members of Prateet Nagar panchayat Prateet Nagar & Vedic Nagar 21
Training of Potential Community Members of Gohrimafi panchayat Gohrimafi 39
Training of Potential Community Members of Raiwala panchayat Raiwala 25
Training of Potential Community Members of Khandgaon, Raiwala panchayat Khand Gaon -1, 2 & 3 28
Training of Potential Community Members of Ajitpur & Nurpur Panjanhedi panchayat Ajitpur; Nurpur Panjanhedi & Missarpur 21
Training of Potential Community Members of Bishanpur Kundi & Chandpur panchayat Bishanpur Kundi & Chandpur 28
Training of Potential Community Members of Rani Majara panchayat Rani Majara 29
Training of Potential Community Members of Haripur Kalan panchayat Haripur Kalan & Motichur Naibast 22
Training of Potential Community Members of Badshahpur panchayat Badshahpur & Sherpur 31
Training of Potential Community Members of Katarpur panchayat Katarpur & Jiapotta 27
Training of Potential Community Members of Khair Khurd panchayat Khair Khurd & Thakurpur 13

282 participants benefitted from these trainings ranging from diverse groups i.e., farmers, youth groups, self-help groups (SHG’s), SHG Federation, Eco Development Committee, Village prahari, Village Voluntary Task Force, Rapid Response Team Members, State Forest Department field staff, etc. The participants were felicitated with certificates of participation.

The training was conducted using participatory methods and facilitated by Dr. Pradeep Mehta, Technical Advisor HWC, GIZ; Ms Alka Tomar, GIZ Consultant; Ms Sudha Nautiyal, GIZ Consultant; Dr. Rishi Kumar, GIZ Consultant and Mr Khima Balodi, GIZ Consultant.


About the project

The Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation (HWC) project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and State Forest Departments of Karnataka, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. The project aims at providing technical support at the national level, and effective implementation of HWC mitigation measures in selected states of India. The project pilot sites are Haridwar Forest Division and adjoining landscape including Rajaji Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand, Gorumara Wildlife Division in West Bengal, and Kodagu Forest Circle in Karnataka.

The main objective of the project is that the rural population in project areas, where agreed guidelines and tools are applied to mitigate human-wildlife conflict, is better protected against it. The project takes the approach of harmonious coexistence, by ensuring that both—humans and wildlife—are protected from conflict. Read More

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