Methods of Protecting Crops and Property from Elephants :
A Technical Workshop for Field Staff, Barbil
North Odisha is well known for its constant human elephant conflict. To manage the conflict WRCS in with the support of JSW foundation and in collaboration with Odisha forest department has started the project- Empowering Local Communities in Protecting Crops and Property from Elephants through Community-based Elephant Conflict Management in North Odisha.
The project team of North Odisha Elephant Project has conducted the first workshop on Promoting peaceful coexistence with elephants at Barbil, Keonjhar Forest division. The workshop was held in presence of Mr. Ashok Das (ACF Keonjhar Forest divison), Mr. Ranjan Kalo (Ranger, Barbil Range), Mr. Amulya Senapati (Deputy Ranger, Barbil) , Mr. Partha Behura (Deputy Manager, JSW foundation, Barbil) and program officer Mr. Jitendra Padhiya of BAIF. The talk was delivered by WRCS’s project biologist Mr. Sibasish Sahoo and Mr. Digvijaya Pattnaik.
The workshop began with the address talk by Mr. Digvijaya Pattnaik which is then followed by inauguration talk by Range officer of barbil Mr. Ranjan Kalo. The presentation talk was started by Mr. Sibasish Sahoo, he gave a detailed assessment of conflict situation in the landscape which covered reasons, causes and type of conflict and an overview of the project. The next session was presented by Mr. Digvijaya Pattnaik, this session was covered methodology and implementation of the project. This session also covered the CBCM techniques, which was demonstrated to the forest department staff. Trip alarms, blinking lights, acoustic deterrent techniques etc. were demonstrated to the forest
Mr. Ashok Das (ACF, Keonjhar Forest divison) and Mr. Partha Behura (Deputy manager, JSW foundation, Barbil) later joined the workshop. Which was then followed by a detailed discussion with the stake holders. The ground forest staff were asked about their suggestions and problem which they are facing on the field. The suggestions from the forest department was noted down and which will be looked after in future progression of the project. An hour long interaction session started at the end of the workshop, all three stakeholders (WRCS, JSW foundation and the forest department) were involved in the interaction.
The program came to a close with a speech by Mr. Ashok Das that served as its conclusion. All of the participants were treated to lunch at the Barbil Forest Guest House.
The main goals of this workshop were to improve cooperation with the workers of the forest department, to inform them of the continuing project activity, and to share information and skills between the two stakeholder groups which we have achieved through this very first workshop. We express our sincere thanks to Mr. Dhanraj Dhamdhere, DFO Keonjhar for his support. We would like to thank JSW Foundation for their support and the Forest Department of Odisha for their logistic support on the field.