Working with communities

IFAW-WTI works with communities living close to tiger habitats to reduce their dependence on the forests. In communities surrounding Manas National Park in India, we have installed hundreds of fuel efficient stoves to keep the residents from venturing into the forests so often for firewood and risking encounters with wildlife.

We have also been studying traditional tiger hunting communities to understand their socio-economics, to wean them away from their dependence on forest wildlife and help integrate them into more modern and mainstream livelihoods.

Through IFAW-WTI’s Animal Action Education programme, children and youth from villages in the Nagzira Navegaon tiger corridor have adopted the tiger into traditional art of ‘rangoli’ – floor decorations whereas youth around Manas National Park have painted their pride in elephants on boundary walls, thus creating protective social fences with the message of conservation. Four youth from central India are currently volunteering as wildlife watchers, recording and collecting data on wildlife seen around their villages.

Over 15000 frontline forest staff have been trained and equipped as part of the Guardians of the Wild project, thus adding teeth to IFAW-WTI’s enforcement and trade control activities across India.