WWF-India and NTT DATA Foster Safe Human-Elephant Coexistence in Terai Elephant Reserve

LAKHIMPUR KHERI - October 4, 2023 - WWF-India, with financial support from NTT DATA, is initiating the first-ever project in the Terai Elephant Reserve to understand the patterns of crop losses faced by local communities due to elephants. The project will also focus on the implementation of mitigation measures involving the local communities to better coordinate elephant movement between Nepal and India.

The forest of Terai in Uttar Pradesh is a transboundary elephant landscape where elephant herds regularly move between Nepal and India. In view of the critical priority of the landscape, the area has been declared an Elephant Reserve, the latest addition in India. However, as elephants slowly expand their range in this area, proactive solutions are required to ensure safe coexistence between elephants and the local communities.

Under this project, WWF-India will be conducting baseline assessment of crop losses due to elephants and other wild herbivores, create coordination groups to ensure safe passage of elephants between India and Nepal, support local communities in crop guarding by building watch towers, enrich wetland habitats for elephants, and organize health camps for captive elephants of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. The project implementation will be done in close collaboration with the local communities in India and support from their counterparts in Nepal.

Speaking about the partnership Mr. Yash Shethia, Director, Wildlife and Habitat Division, WWF-India said, “Elephants from Nepal have always traversed to and fro in the shared Terai region between our two countries. A population of elephants also resides in Dudhwa. When the herd ventures into agricultural areas, there is conflict. This project will help us understand better and address the causes and consequences of this conflict benefitting both the elephants and local communities”.

Dr. Aritra Kshettry, National Lead for Elephant Conservation says, "This project will be part of our long-term engagement with the State Forest department and communities to ensure that elephants and local people are able to share space. The first leg of the project will help gather valuable baseline data and bring together all the relevant stakeholders to find shared solutions to the impacts of elephants on local lives and livelihoods."

“This initiative marks a significant milestone in our commitment to sustainability as the financial support given to WWF-India will help in protecting wildlife and foster harmony between communities and elephants,” said Mr. Ankur Dasgupta, Vice President, Global CSR & India Marketing, NTT DATA Services. “We believe that through our joint efforts, we will be able to enhance the future of these majestic creatures in our shared landscape.”


About WWF-India

WWF-India has been working towards wildlife and environment protection in the country since 1969. WWF- India is part of the WWF-International network and its national presence extends to over 75 state and field offices across more than 20 states. The organization works in different geographical regions of the country towards the conservation of key wildlife species, protection of habitats, management of rivers, wetlands, and their ecosystems, climate change mitigation, sustainable livelihood alternatives for local communities, water and carbon footprint reduction in industries, combating illegal wildlife trade, and inspiring students and citizens to take positive action for the environment through outreach and awareness campaigns. WWF-India’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.


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