Conservation is development: saving tiger enhances community development
About the Implementing organization
Name: Village Tiger Response Team
Year of establishment: 2007
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization
Sundarbans Reserve Forest (SRF) is one of the unique mangrove forest is a home to the majestic Bengal tiger with outstanding biodiversity. In Bangladesh part around 6000 sqkm of Sundarbans surrounded by 76 boarder villages. Study revealed that conflict arises when people and tiger share the same resources. As a result of this consequence tiger human conflict noticed higher than any other part of the world. To minimize this conflict situation it is essentials to build capacities as well as increase the education and awareness of the local communities. Considering this community based biodiversity conservation approach, 49 Village Tiger Response Team formed around Bangladesh Sundarbans periphery. It is believed that the Sundarbans Reserve Forest’s existence is fully dependent on the tiger survival as it protects the forest from uncontrolled extraction of natural resources. More than 2 million people directly or indirectly dependents on SRF for their livelihoods. In that sense VTRT contributed greatly to the protection of tigers which protect Sundarbans, and thus the local communities. VTRT’s also involved with socials awareness activities like tree plantation, education of forest working safety measures to the resource collectors and ecotourism. They are also providing support to Bangladesh Forest Department to minimize forest related crime like poaching, illegal wood and resource extraction to ensure the sustainable forest management. .
Forests / Wildlife
Type of Action
Sustainable use / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Food security / Water security
During the time period of 2014 to 2016, VTRTs rescued 225 wild animals including, tiger, deer, wild boar, fishing cat, python, crocodiles. Apart from wildlife rescue they engaged more than 10000 Forest Resource Collectors through social meetings, awareness campaign and village trainings on forest working safety measures and sustainable collection of forest resource collections. They worked with forest department to mitigate emergency situation such as in stray out tiger situation and forest fires.
Sustainable Development Impacts
VTRT members involved themselves on alternate income generating activities and they engaged other community peoples as well to reduce dependency from forest and enhance financial stability of the community people. VTRT runs honey firms and handy handicraft and eco-tourism mechanism in the communities. VTRT initiative has also incorporated in draft Protected Area Management Rule by Ministry Environment and Forest, Bangladesh.
The voluntary approach has been extended from one range (Chandpai) of Sundarbans Reserve Forest (world's largest mangrove forest) to other three ranges (Sarankhola, Khulna and Satkhira) due to it's efficiency and effectiveness on tiger conservation approaches and accessibility. This expansion is done through conservation need assessment, assessment of threat's for tiger and assessing the demands from the communities. In hilly area of Bangladesh, where their is native population of Asian elephant, a similar concern titled as Elephant Response Team has been adopted by IUCN, Bangladesh.
Erlinda C. Kartika, a officer from Indonesian Forest Department did his internship on VTRT initiaitives and replicated VTRT initiatives to minimize Tiger Human Conflict in some parts of Sumatra as a piloting basis and planning to incorporate the initiate in government policies to be implemented in other THC prone areas.
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