The IFS officers training course “One-week compulsory training on voluntary relocation from Tiger Reserves” was conducted in Bhadra Tiger Reserve landscape from 11th to 15th November, 2019. The workshop is being organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), WCS-India, and supported by WildCANE and WildCAT-C. Twenty-one IFS officers from all over India actively participated in the training.
(Left to Right) Bottom: Dhruv Gangadharan, Mahendar Kumar Jain, Chethan I N, Chandrakanth C D, Manish Kumar, Sathya Chandra Sagar, Madhu Venkatesh, Mrunmayee Amarnath, Paromita Ray | Middle: Yatish Kumar IFS (CF), Vijay Mohan Raj IFS (CCF), Gopalakrishne Gowda IAS (Retd.), Sanjai Mohan IFS (PCCF & CWW, Karnataka), Prakriti Srivastava IFS (Country Director, WCS-India), Dhananjaya S IFS (CF) | Top: Vijay Kumar Salimath IFS, Phaniraj K V, Sharanbasappa, C Selvam IFS, T Mohan Raj IFS, Nagesh Baligar, Dileep Kumar Yadav IFS, Agneeshwar Vyas IFS, Vankdoth Ketan Kumar IFS, Shreedev Hulikere, Yedukondalu V IFS, Vinod S IFS, Krishan Kumar IFS, Rahul Singh IFS, Mahaveer Koujalagi IFS, Sundaresha IFS, Siam Khan Muan Guite IFS, Supongnukshi IFS, C H Padma IFS, Shivani Dogra IFS, Shaveta Jandial IFS, Rathna Prabha, Anjana Suchita Tirkey IFS, Shivakumar M D, Sumita Ghatak IFS, C Saravanan IFS, D V Girish
The training has officially kicked off with an introductory session at Bhadra Tiger Reserve. The participants later went on a boat safari, to relish the landscape. The day ended with a gathering for dinner where the officers got to interact with each other.
Day two started with the Sringeri MLA - Mr. Rajegowda TD addressing the participants about his involvement in voluntary relocation.
The classroom session was inaugurated by Mr. Sanjai Mohan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) & Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW) of Karnataka followed by an introductory session.
Mr. Mohan briefed the participants about voluntary relocation and its role in wildlife conservation, followed by which the participants interacted with the PCCF about their experiences. He also gave an account on what they can do in order to improve their conservation efforts. The session also involved discussion on conservation and management of grassland habitats and grassland associated species like Great Indian Bustard in Karnataka.
D V Girish of WildCat-C gave a detailed account of Bhadra landscape and wildlife.
Mr Yatish Kumar, CF of Haliyala addressed the gathering by sharing few of his experience during Bhadra voluntary relocation. He explained on how he build a personal relationship with the villagers during the relocation process.
Gopalakrishne Gowda, IAS (Retd.) shared his experience as a District Commissioner of Chikamagalur during the relocation process. According to Mr. Gowda patience was the key to this successful project.
Vijay Mohan Raj, CCF Chikamagalur spoke about wildlife of Karantaka and he suggested that voluntary relocation has to be treated as a development activity.
Prakriti Srivastava, WCS-India Country Director talked about NTCA's voluntary relocation program in National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries as per the IDWH central funding scheme as well as state programs.
On the third day the participants visited M C Halli resettlement where they interacted with the villagers who were relocated from the forests.
D V Girish giving a tour to the participants at MC Halli
Officers interacting with the villagers in MC Halli
Participants with the villagers at MC Halli
Participants along with the WCS-India and WildCANE team proceeded to Hebbe range of Bhadra Tiger Reserve, where they visited the land where once lived hundreds of people, now covered with thick canopy without any human disturbance.
The participants interacted with the Karantaka Forest Department staff
The day ended with the convocation ceremony in the evening. The participants were awarded the certificate of participation. Later the participants gave their feedback on the workshop.
A press meet was arranged on 15th November morning in Chikamagalur. WCS-India Country Director Prakriti Srivastava briefed the media on voluntary relocation.
The IFS officers were briefly introduced to WCS-India's Counter Wildlife Trafficking program which was given by Aristo Mendis.