"Wildlife-friendly Community: Model for Human-wildlife Conflict Resolution"

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Published: 30 July 2021
Last edited: 19 October 2021
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Summary

Human-wildlife conflicts in the buffer zone of Huai Kha Khaeng Willdife Sanctuary were on a rise both in numbers and in terms of more intense retaliation when wild animals damage the cash crops. It had jeopardized community livelihoods and also threatened the last stronghold of Banteng which is an indicator for tiger's existence. With support of small grant from UNDP, the pioneer community members formed as Wildlife-friendly Community (WFC), adopted the alternative income generation that replaces the encroached farm land with mono-cropping, with higher productive organic farming. Then, turning the encroached area back to wildlife habitat with development of wildlife food plots, maintained and guarded by community members. The wildlife appearance makes the community-based wildlife tourism feasible. Marketing after the first crops of organic vegetables is expanding. Comparison of higher benefits from the less farmland but higher productivity ensures the confidence and increasing number of the WFC members.

Classifications

Region
Southeast Asia
Scale of implementation
Subnational
Ecosystem
Forest ecosystems
Tropical deciduous forest
Theme
Access and benefit sharing
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Food security
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Health and human wellbeing
Local actors
Peace and human security
Sustainable livelihoods
Challenges
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Lack of food security
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 4: Sustainable production and consumption
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 11: Protected and conserved areas
Target 12: Reducing risk of extinction
Target 17: Biodiversity strategies and action plans
Business engagement approach
Indirect through consumers
Indirect through government

Location

Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, Lan Sak, Uthai Thani 61160, Thailand

Challenges

Environmental challenge: Biodiversity deterioration of the World Heritage Site which is the last stronghold of Tiger and it preys in Southeast Asia.

 

Social challenge: Unhealthy livelihoods and conflicts between park officials and encroached communities.

 

Economic challenge: Debt cycle from the contracted mono cropping with intensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. 

Beneficiaries

Led by the Wildlife-friendly Community Network, communities in 29 villages along the buffer zone of Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary will benefit from the replication and dissemination of good practices.

How do the building blocks interact?

The Agro-tourism guided by the story teller on the evolution of the wildlife-friendly community while the guests enjoy picking farm products and taste the authentic food, followed by a fantastic scenic view over the wildlife observatory. This combination is what people are longing to experience after the spread and lockdown of COVID. Nature appreciation and healthy lifestyle help connect the two blocks seemlessly.

Impacts

The withdrawal from the encroached area which used to be the native wildlife habitat, has directly benefitted the abundant wildlife which has been able to return back to their homeland. The communities, despite of the reduced size of farming, have witnessed the increasing income from the alternative organic agriculture where the productivity increase surpassed the benefit of enlarging farmland of the wildlife habitat accord. Less encountering between human and wildlife, the enemies become the community’s assets when the wildlife appearance provides a fundamental element for the wildlife tourism. This alternative income generation enhances the gradual land use change in the buffer zone of the World Heritage Site, from intensively chemical monocropping into a sustainable land use and healthy livelihoods.

Story

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We came from different places but all struggling for a sufficient and sustainable living. Uncle Go came here with a dog and his wife and in confidence for a new living. He gave up fighting with the wild animals and cycle of debts. This young man wants to challenge his mother in law on the new farming pratice that nobody will get sick with. The harvest leftover goes to the wildlife feeding station. Here, it will be our Home. Where human and wildlife can co-exist.

Contributed by

Phansiri Winichagoon United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Other contributors