Bengaluru, India, May 07, 2015: Ashirvadam, an NGO, funded by Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman of Happiest Minds, has announced a multi-year environmental protectionproject to reduce Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC). Ashirvadam has engaged with WWF-India, The Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) and A Rocha to tackle the crucial issues related to co-existence of humans and elephants which have created grave challenges to the conservation of the Asian elephant in the 21st century.
With continuous monitoring of both, the elephant’s eco system and behaviour, Ashirvadam, via this initiative, seeks to positively impact 3 large forest areas, home to 25% of India’s elephants. WWF-India has been selected for the Western Ghats – Nilgiris landscape; ANCF for the Bangalore – Hosur landscape and A Rocha for the Bannerghatta environs. This activity shall look to cover a broad landscape of 500,000 sq.kms.
Davis Karedan, Managing Trustee of Ashirvadam said, “Through long-term scientific monitoring, we seek to address important conservation management issues such as HEC. We strongly believe that the areas of concern can be remedied with an in-depth understanding of the ecology and behaviour of elephants”.
Gagan Pathik, CEO, Ashirvadam added, “Through sustained research and development, it is our goal to make a long term difference for conserving India’s elephants. We are delighted to have selected WWF-India, ANCF and A Rocha as our allies in reducing Human Elephant Conflict.”
Speaking on behalf of all 3 NGOs, Sejal Worah, Program Director, WWF-India said, “Ashirvadam has chosen an important area for research and implementation and have taken care to select partners who have experience and ground presence in the selected areas.”
Dr R Sukumar of ANCF added, “Through a collaborative approach between all 3 NGOs, we hope to make dramatic reductions in loss of human life, crop raid by elephants and retaliatory killings in a 3-5 year period.”
An amount of Rs. 43lakhs has been earmarked by Ashirvadam for the first 12 months of this project.