Human elephant conflict in Odisha

Environment, Forest and Climate Change

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 841 TO BE ANSWERED ON 19.09.2020 Human elephant conflict in Odisha 841 DR. AMAR PATNAIK: Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state: (a) the steps taken by Government to address the human elephant conflict in Odisha; (b) the details of the measures aimed at mitigation and management of human elephant conflict in Odisha; (c) whether Government has conducted any study to understand the causes of human elephant conflict in Odisha; (d) if so, the details thereof; (e) if not, the reasons therefor; and (f) whether Government has collected data on the deaths of humans and elephants as a result of such conflict? ANSWER MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE (SHRI BABUL SUPRIYO) (a)&(b) The Government has taken following measures to address the Human Elephant Conflicts (HEC) in Odisha: (i) Financial and technical assistance is provided to elephant range states under the Centrally Sponsored scheme ‘Project Elephant’, to protect elephants, their habitat and corridors, to address issues of man-elephant conflict and the welfare of captive elephants. The Scheme has also a component for ex-gratia relief in case of human death/injury and property/crop loss. (ii) All the elephant States have been directed to implement Guidelines for Management of Human Elephant Conflict issued by the Ministry on 6.10.2017. (iii) In the last 5 years the Government has more than doubled allocation of fund in Elephant Conservation such funds are used for: a. Construction/erecting of physical barriers, such as solar fencing, trenches, stonewalling to prevent straying of wild elephants into human habitations. b. Works like creation of water sources, plantation of fruiting trees, pasture development, fire protection etc. are being done to enrich elephant habitat so that elephants can be retained in their habitat. c. Engaging local communities as animal trackers to know the movement of elephants and also to caution local people to avoid man-animal conflict and to prevent damage or loss of human life and elephants. d. Payment of ex-gratia to the victims of Human Elephant Conflict. (c)to(e) Yes sir. Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) was entrusted with the study in the State of Odisha by the Government of Odisha in order to avoid human-elephant conflict. As per their findings, the trends indicate that about 1700-1800 elephants can at most be sustained and managed within the larger forested landscape of Odisha with tolerable levels of elephant-human conflict. (f) As per the information received from State, the number of elephant and human deaths due Human Elephant Conflict, during the last three years and current year are given below. Year 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 (till 31.8.2020) Elephant Deaths 14 33 17 4 Human deaths 105 85 117 23 The reasons for the death of elephants include electrocution, train and road accidents, poisoning and poaching.