The Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) is facilitating a consultation between the Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh Forest Departments and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on landscape-level tiger conservation in Central India on December 21 and 22, 2015. The workshop is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the WCT-USAID Tiger Matters project.

The workshop is aimed at promoting inter-state and inter-agency collaboration on securing the Central Indian Landscape (CIL) that supports approximately 31% of India’s tiger population. With over 65 Protected Areas (PA), the CIL plays an unparalleled role in forming a watershed for many major rivers that irrigate large tracts of agricultural land and supply potable water to several large towns and cities.

Senior forest officials and subject matter experts will be presenting on various protection strategies including Law Enforcement Modules (LEM) like MSTrIPES and SMART, wildlife law enforcement training for frontline forest staff and Site Security training for Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) personnel. There will be a special focus on corridors such as the Kanha-Pench corridor and protecting tiger populations outside PAs. The role of veterinarians in tackling human-wildlife conflict will be discussed as well as the use of wildlife forensics in crime investigation.

Speaking about the consultation, Anish Andheria, President, WCT said, “The PAs in the CIL are crucial to the water security of the region. WCT has been working closely with the Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh Forest Departments to secure them by strengthening forest guards and empowering communities to reduce their dependence on ecosystems. It is essential that we design landscape management plans that integrate ecological and developmental needs. We’re confident that the consultation will help us achieve this goal.”

Shri Shree Bhagwan, IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Wildlife and Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW), MFD and Shri Ravi Srivastava, IFS, PCCF, Wildlife and CWW, MPFD will be inaugurating the consultation. Ms. Tillotama Verma, Additional Director, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Dr. Y.V. Jhala, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Dr. Debabrata Swain, Inspector General-Central, NTCA will be presenting at the workshop.