Last Updated:  29/07/2020

Login to Shortlist
 

Project Pitch By: Wildlife Trust of India

 

Proposed Project Title


Strengthening Ecological-resilience and Enhancing Human well-being in Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar: A post Covid-19 need

 

Thematic Area

Ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, wildlife & natural resources conservation

Sub Thematic Area

Natural Resources Conservation

Project Synopsis

One of the first non-governmental conservation organizations, WTI in collaboration with the Department of Forests, Government of Bihar initiated the recovery of tigers and habitat restoration work in Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) in 2003, which subsequently increased tiger numbers from 10 to 31 within a span of 11 years. WTI also initiated a pilot project, focussing on reduction of dependence and livelihood improvement of local communities in VTR, in a bid to improve the status of tiger and its habitat. Though it was successful in garnering public support, it needs a further impetus, in terms of scaling up to larger areas for a measurable impact. The project plans to reduce anthropogenic pressure and effect restoration of approximately 150 sq. km. forest area by implementing a set of focussed activities in a cluster of 26 villages situated in Done Valley, an incursion of about 45 sq. km. area in the TR.
 
 
 

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
INR 1.0 Cr - INR 5.0 Cr
Proposed Location
Bihar

Key Project Partners
Government,Gram Panchayat

Project Status
Already Implemented-Replicable
 

Facts

Beneficiary Type (Primary): General
Beneficiary Type (Secondary):
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: 1000 and above Families
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done
 
 
 

Proposed Project Description

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) works for recovery of species and restoration of habitat through appropriate field level actions. Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR), which lies in the in West Champaran district of Bihar (foothills of Himalaya in the Indo-Nepal Border) was relatively backward as compared to other Tiger Reserves (TRs). WTI was one of the first non-governmental conservation organizations in 2003, which in collaboration with the Department of Forests, Government of Bihar initiated the recovery of tigers and habitat restoration work in VTR. Spread across 899 sq km, the TR had less than 10 individual tigers (2006-07) which later increased to 31 tigers (2017-18).

 

Recognizing that recovery of a species is not sustained without the well-being and engagement of local community, WTI also initiated a pilot project, focussing on reduction of dependence and livelihood improvement of local communities in VTR, in a bid to improve the status of tiger and its habitat. Though it was successful in garnering public support, it needs a further impetus, in terms of scaling up to larger areas for a measurable impact.

 

The project plans to reduce anthropogenic pressure and effect restoration of approximately 150 sq. km. forest area by implementing a set of focussed activities in a cluster of 26 villages situated in Done Valley, an incursion of about 45 sq. km. area in the TR. The target area was found to be under intense human pressure due to extraction of resources and livestock grazing. Ecological literacy among the community being low, has led to direct damage to the forest, such as putting on fire in the forests to get fresh sprouts, thus, causing uncontrolled forest fire; cutting down younger trees and saplings for firewood etc. Wildlife population is very low owing to these reasons. Loss of forest and ground vegetation causes massive erosion in the forest area and results into deposition of sand and silts on the productive soil, which affects the agriculture productivity and ultimately the livelihood of people. To counter this, this project proposes to expand the purview of work with two main aims:

 

  • Improving forest condition by undertaking direct restoration measures, and by reducing the effects of drivers of deforestation and habitat degradation
  • Reducing vulnerability of the fringe communities to the changes in ecosystem by providing livelihood opportunities and restoring ecological conditions in the village areas.

 

It is expected that the measures would increase forest regeneration, improve prey species and tiger use in the target area and work towards the well-being of the community

 

The proposed 5-year project intends to address the problem and achieve following outcomes;

 

  1. Forest fire incidents reduced: The project aims 70% reduction in forest fire incidences through the project.
  2. Anthropogenic pressure due to livestock grazing reduced: The project would target to reduce the number of cattle head going inside the forest by 50%.
  3. Degraded areas in the villages restored for ecological and economic benefits: At least 20% of the degraded areas in project villages would be restored through active measures.
  4. The implemented measures help reducing the dependence of beneficiary families on forest resources: Most forest dependent 1000 families will be targeted to reduce consumption of forest resources by at least 50%. Additionally, 50% of the beneficiary family would be targeted to increase and diversification of income.
  5. Improved capacity of staff ensures better community coordination and law enforcement for habitat protection: The target is to halt land-use change in the fringe areas of the target villages.

 

The project also targets to create and strengthen 100 community based organizations (women Self-help Groups (SHGs) and Eco-Development Committees (EDCs)) in 26 villages in Done Valley. At least 1000 families will be the direct beneficiaries of the projects. The project activities would be implemented through the CBOs. Interest Groups, with membership of beneficiaries involved in same activity, will also be constituted for knowledge sharing and effective implementation of activities. Forest fire incidences would be controlled by sensitizing the cattle herders, who put on fire in the forest to get fresh grass for their cattle. Agro-forestry plantation of fodder trees, promotion of feed blocks, cattle breed improvement etc. will reduce grazing pressure on the forest, thereby minimizing the risks of exposure of human being to zoonotic diseases from wild animals and spread of communicable diseases to wild animals from livestock. High density plantation of native tree and shrub layers with appropriate measures of soil enrichment and moisture retention will be done to raise native forest plantation on community or private lands. Livelihood improvement is a major component of the project which would rely on training and piloting farm and non-farm based livelihood measures. Micro-plans will outline the detailed plan of implementation of livelihood improvement and forest dependence reduction measures. Vocational training to select number of youths will open up new opportunities for the villagers.

 

Sustainability of the project would be ensured so that of flow of benefits to the target groups continues even after completion of the project. Ecological restoration will have long-term implications on the livelihood of people and biodiversity of the area. The proposal is based on analysis of socio-economic and ecological situations of the area, hence integrates various aspects to ensure Ecological ‘One’ Health and livelihood sustainability in the area. Institutionalization of the process by constituting CBOs will help in maintaining the processes. Financial sustainability will be accrued from the saving functions of the CBOs and convergence of government schemes.

 

While achievement of all outcomes will be monitored independently, the overall impact of the project will be monitored by assessing periodic changes the forest ecosystem and subsequent positive changes in terms of use of the area by wild species, emphasizing on tiger and its prey species. A systematic monitoring plan shall be put in place to register the changes and deliver the project impact.

 
 

Salient Features

  1. Community Engagement
  2. Habitat Restoration
  3. Livelihood
 

About Wildlife Trust of India

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is a non-profit conservation organization with a vision to protect India’s natural heritage. Registered as a Trust, it’s mission is to conserve wildlife and its habitat and to work for the welfare of individual wild animals, in partnership with communities and governments. Since its establishment in 1998, WTI has been working to

  1. Recover endangered species;
  2. Rescue and rehabilitate distressed wild animals;
  3. Train and equip frontline forest staff in fighting wildlife crime;
  4. Secure wild habitats;
  5. Spread conservation-awareness;
  6. Support green livelihoods of communities; and
  7. Respond to wildlife emergencies.

Working mostly to conserve endangered fauna, such as the elephant, tiger, rhinoceros and others, along with their habitats, the organization has garnered considerable support from the Union, State and local governments, non-governmental organizations, companies, and communities. To rescue and rehabilitate distressed and displaced wildlife, it has established two state-of-the-art wildlife rehabilitation centers in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh (with support from its international partner, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the respective State Governments) and runs seven mobile veterinary units (MVS) across the country in five states. At WTI, about 130 professionals from various walks of life work on a range of wildlife issues at 29 field camps and field stations across India.

 
 

Other Project Pitch

Satya Mobile Therapy Unit

Satya Mobile Therapy Unit

Satya special school

Explore Organizations