10 July 2021.
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) recently released its report titled “A future for all – the need for human-wildlife coexistence”.
- According to the report, human-animal conflict is one of the main threats for long-term survival of world’s most iconic species.
- Conflict-related deaths affect more than 75 per cent of world’s wild cat species.
- It also affects polar bears, Mediterranean monk seals and large herbivores like elephants.
- Global wildlife populations have decreased by 68 per cent since 1970 because of conflicts.
Report highlights about India:
- In India, human-elephant conflict resulted into killing of 500 elephants and 2361 people during 2014-2015 and 2018-2019.
- India is going to be most-affected by human-wildlife conflict because of having world’s second-largest human population and large populations of tigers, Asiatic Lions, Asian elephants, one-horned rhinos etc.
- Human-animal conflict cannot be eradicated completely.
- However, a well-planned and integrated approaches can be adopted in order to reduce conflicts.
- It can also lead to a form of coexistence between humans and animals.
Sonitpur Model of India:
- This model was developed by WWF India in Sonitpur district of Assam where, destruction of forests had led elephants to raid crops.
- This was causing deaths of humans as well as elephants.
- To reduce the conflict, ‘Sonitpur Model’ was developed during 2003-2004.
- Under this model, community members are connected with state forest department.
- Community members are given training regarding how to work in field and drive elephants away from crop fields safely.
- WWF India also developed a low-cost, single strand, non-lethal electric fence in a bid to ease guarding of crops from elephants.
- As a result of this model, crop losses reduced to zero and Human & elephant deaths also reduced.