29 March 2023
HELP PEOPLE TO SAVE TIGERS AND THEIR FORESTS
The Satpuda Landscape Tiger Partnership (SLTP) is a network of green guardians dedicated to conserving the Satpuda Highlands, one of the world’s most vital tiger landscapes.
Hello, my name is Yashvardhan Dalmia, and I’m the Network Support Officer of the Satpuda Landscape Tiger Partnership (SLTP).
The SLTP is a partnership of green guardians working tirelessly in the forests of central India to conserve one of the world’s most important tiger landscapes, the Satpuda Highlands.
This landscape is key to the water security of millions of Indians, delivering essential ecosystem services to the surrounding communities and beyond.
Want to know more about these guardians, their world, and their journey? Come join me.
It’s the year 2004. Alarmed by the decreasing tiger numbers and increasing need to combat threats faced by them, The Born Free Foundation UK (BFF) joins hands with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of the Oxford University and a few passionate well-wishers to put together a partnership of grassroots-level NGOs and individuals to conserve tigers and their habitats.
The aim is to provide financial and handholding support to these NGOs to empower them to effectively undertake initiatives for the mitigation of human-wildlife conflict with the active support and participation of the local communities living around tiger reserves in central India.
Over the years, these activities consistently deliver benefits for tigers and the community.
Cut to 2023. As SLTP celebrates its 20th year, we are happy to share that we are now a network of eight NGOs and many other well-wishers. Cumulatively, the partners have been able to benefit 450,000+ students living around tiger reserves through nature education programs, 200,000+ community members through mobile health units, and alternate sustainable livelihood opportunities. In addition, through the Tiger Ambassadors program, more than 1400 youth volunteers from the local community have been trained to become conservation leaders and better manage frontline human-wildlife conflict issues.
These practical solutions supported by BFF help foster trust between the SLTP partners and local residents as well as encourage the community to lend their support for conservation actions.
Ambika Khandate, a local beneficiary of SLTP partner initiatives mentions: “Our family benefited through the medical camps as there are no medical facilities in our village. With help from the foundation, I also set up a small shop where I sell snacks and daily-use items. We readily send our children to nature camps organized by them as we trust them. We now go for the collection of forest produce in a group to prevent conflict”
Furthermore, SLTP partner projects have also helped support the local forest departments in managing conflict. “Due to active patrolling support received from Tiger Ambassadors, now there is a reduced movement of villagers in the forest in the early morning and late evening period, when the wildlife movement is high,” Sushant Gaurkar, a local forest guard mentions.
Though tigers are revered by many in India and estimated tiger numbers have increased from around 1400 in 2006 to around 2950 in 2018, the human-wildlife conflict battle is not won yet. As expanding human population and anthropogenic pressures around core tiger breeding areas and infrastructure developments such as road widening, mining, and dams continue to pose a threat, lives are lost on both sides as confrontations between humans and wildlife intensify driven by competition for limited resources.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
By contributing to the Born Free Foundation’s Spring Appeal, you can help our SLTP guardians reach more community members like Ambika and Shushant and support them in their mission to combat the human-wildlife conflict and better conserve the forests of central India and its tigers. Looking forward to your support!
Image (c) Yashvardhan Dalmia