Human-wildlife conflict a State-specific disaster: Kerala

Human-wildlife conflict a State-specific disaster: Kerala


Human-wildlife conflict has been declared as a State-specific disaster by Kerala Cabinet.


GS-03 (Conservation, Man-animal conflicts)

Key highlights:

  • Increasing deaths, injuries, and crop/property loss prompt the declaration.
  • Kerala State Disaster Management Authority to play a crucial role in conflict mitigation.
  • Formation of neighbourhood watch groups and inter-State coordination committee announced to tackle wildlife incursions.

Wildlife-Human Conflict?

  • Overview:
    • The term wildlife-human conflict refers to clashes arising when human activities intersect with those of wild animals, often resulting in adverse consequences for both parties involved.
  • Ramifications:
    • Economic Impact: Wildlife-human conflicts result in significant financial losses for farmers and livestock owners due to crop damage, infrastructure destruction, and livestock predation.
    • Human Safety Hazards: Encounters with large predators like lions, tigers, and bears in areas where human settlements overlap with wildlife habitats pose severe risks to human safety, potentially leading to injuries or fatalities.
    • Environmental Damage: Wildlife-human conflicts contribute to environmental degradation, as the elimination of predators by humans disrupts ecological balances, leading to an increase in prey populations.

Government Initiatives:

  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Encompasses regulations prohibiting hunting, safeguarding wildlife habitats, and establishing protected areas, among other provisions.
  • Biological Diversity Act, 2002: Complements existing legislation by addressing biodiversity conservation and management.
  • National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016): Aims to bolster protected area networks, conserve endangered species and habitats, curb wildlife trade, and promote research and education.
  • Project Tiger: Launched in 1973 under the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, this initiative aims to create safe havens for tigers within national parks.
  • Project Elephant: Established in 1992, this scheme focuses on safeguarding elephants, their habitats, and migration corridors through centralized support.