Home Uttarakhand Gov calls for collaborative efforts between  communities and Forest Dept

Gov calls for collaborative efforts between  communities and Forest Dept

By Our Staff Reporter 
RAMNAGAR, 13 June: Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh (Retd) said that today’s discussion underscores the importance of collaborative efforts between communities and the Forest Department in tackling serious conservation challenges. With continuous partnership and innovation, the future of Uttarakhand’s forests and wildlife is promising. The Governor emphasized the need for widespread promotion of public interest activities carried out by the Forest Department.
Dr Dhananjai Mohan, Chief Conservator of Forests, Uttarakhand, informed that through collaborative efforts in the state, the tiger population has increased from 178 to 560, and bird diversity has developed with 710 species. Local communities are deeply connected with their forest resources, managing over 11,000 forest panchayats while ensuring mutual coexistence with wildlife.
During the conference, he mentioned that challenges remain, especially human-wildlife conflict and forest fires. However, innovative approaches like “Living with Leopards” help communities mitigate conflicts, while local initiatives like Sheetal Khet demonstrate effective fire management and forest regeneration.
Dr Samir Sinha spoke about Uttarakhand’s rich wildlife diversity and protected area network. He shared data on populations of large carnivores like tigers and common leopards, herbivores like elephants, and snow leopards. He also discussed the challenges of increasing wildlife populations alongside incidents of human deaths and injuries, noting that snakebite-related fatalities and injuries are highest in the Pithoragarh district.
Naresh Kumar discussed initiatives taken in various parts of Uttarakhand, such as Dhanolti, Devalsari, Munsyari, and other gardens and parks developed by the research wing. He provided information on activities undertaken to improve capacity building and training needs for local communities, nature guides, and festival organizers to engage wildlife enthusiasts in eco-tourism sites.
Dr Koko Rose and Rajesh Bhatt, environmentalists, presented innovative work on human-wildlife conflict management and community engagement, sharing case study results of the “Living with Leopards” program in Tehri district.
Mahatim Yadav and Gajendra Pathak, pharmacists from Almora, presented an innovative work and community participation in forest fire management, analyzing the operations and outcomes of the Sheetal Khet model in the Almora range and considering its implementation in other districts. They also shared information on the initiative of organizing day camps with the distribution of BL Shahi plows to reduce dependence on forest wood.
Digant Nayak presented on innovative work related to eco-tourism in Uttarakhand, sharing a case study and its outcomes on community-based eco-tourism in Choti Haldwani.
On this occasion, Chief Conservator of Forests, Garhwal, PK Patro; Chief Conservator of Forests, Kumaon, Dr Dheeraj Pandey; Field Director of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Dr Vinay Bhargav; Forest Conservator of Western Circle, Dr Koko Rose; Forest Conservator of Northern Kumaon Circle, TR Bijulal; Forest Conservator of Southern Kumaon Circle, and Divisional Forest Officers of Almora, Pithoragarh, Ramnagar; Deputy Director of Rajaji Tiger Reserve, and Assistant Conservator of Forests were present.