Community-Based Human Elephant Conflict Management, Bhutan
In Bhutan, human settlements are in close proximity to forest areas and recent clearing of forested areas for human settlements in the southern plains has created increased incidents of human-elephant conflict (HEC). The government is trying to encourage growth and economic development by relocating people from distant areas in the mountains to fertile uncultivated plains with the unintended consequence of wildlife conflict. Families who previously never saw elephants now live with them in their daily lives, losing crops and vital grain storages to raids. Focusing on the Sarpang Division settlement areas, this project will train farmers and officials of the Nature Conservation Division (NCD) on human-elephant conflict mitigation techniques and train and equip new Quick Response Teams. This project builds capacity at the local level and provides citizen stakeholders to plan, implement, and sustain activities. Human communities will benefit from increased security and alleviation of income loss due to crop loss, and the elephants, gaur, capped langur, sambar, and Royal Bengal Tiger will be protected, maintaining this region’s rich biodiversity.