THE WILDLIFE Conservation Trust (WCT), along with US Agency for International Development (USAID), held the screening of a short film, titled Tiger Matters, during a seminar in the city on Saturday. The 20 minute-long film highlighted the organisations’ efforts towards conservation of tiger reserves in central India over a period of three years, since 2014.
The film also showcased how the organisations worked towards imparting vocational skills to 3,300 youths from 90 buffer zone villages in protected areas.
A panel discussion on ‘Ecology, the bedrock of Economy’ was also held as part of the event, which deduced that protection of local ecology of the forest was necessary for protection of tigers. It also stressed on the importance of involving local people in the process to reduce human-tiger conflicts.
Bittu Sahgal, founder of Sanctuary Asia, said, “It’s not going to be easy to tackle climate change and its impact on local habitats. But youngsters can be involved in the process, to try and change the perception of ecology, as not only a financial resource but a community resource.”
In Tiger Matters, the WCT claimed to have sampled 9,000 sq km area through camera trapping to monitor tiger movements and have equipped 190 anti-poaching camps and 88 personnel of the Special Tiger Protection Force in Maharastra and Madhya Pradesh.
“Forest guards were made aware of the sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, under which they can book cases. They were trained to better understand the landscape and use better patrolling techniques,” Dr Anish Andheria, president of WCT, said.
“Having held workshops on human-wildlife conflicts for over 140 forest guards and conflict mitigation, we hope to change perceptions of people on wildlife,” Andheria added.