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Regional workshop on Human Wildlife Conflict to be held in Thimphu, Bhutan

THIMPHU, BHUTAN – The importance of preventing and mitigating Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) in order to protect rural livelihoods and maintain biodiversity will be highlighted at a technical workshop in Thimphu, Bhutan from 6-8 October 2017.

The workshop is being organized by the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) and IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, under the auspices of the Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) – a regional platform that fosters collaboration and experience sharing among government protected area agencies. Financial support is being provided by the Ministry of the Environment Japan, the Ministry of Environment Korea, RGoB, ICIMOD, UNDP Bhutan and WWF Bhutan. Technical support is being provided by the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Task Force on Human-Wildlife Conflict.

Representatives from 11 APAP member countries will be participating in the workshop: Bhutan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Japan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

As the human population of Asia continues to expand and land-use pressures continue to mount, HWC is becoming an increasingly serious problem. HWC can lead to many negative impacts on human interests, including loss of income, reduced food security, injuries and loss of life.

The proximity of poor, rural communities to protected areas in many parts of Asia, and their dependence on forest products and subsistence agriculture, makes them particularly susceptible to the impacts of Human-Wildlife Conflicts. These rural communities – which already have limited livelihood opportunities – are hence the hardest hit by conflicts.

HWC also poses a serious threat to biodiversity. It undermines public and political support for conservation, and many animals are killed or injured by communities in Asia every year in their efforts to protect crops and livestock. In those instances in which HWC involves threatened species (e.g., tigers), the loss of even a few animals can have long-term conservation implications.

The workshop aims to: give participants a better understanding of HWC within an overarching conceptual framework; develop an overview of HWC in Asia, including its underlying causes and impacts; share experiences and lessons from the Asia region; and identify emerging best practice and priorities for the future.

On the last day of the workshop, participants will visit the Tango Monastery in the Jigme Dorji National Park, where human-bear conflict is commonly reported. The field visit will give participants the opportunity to interact with monks, whose meditation huts are sometimes raided by Himalayan black bears. Participants will also visit the bear enclosure and the Wildlife Rescue and Animal Health Unit, with the aim of learning about the importance of monitoring and managing conflict sites.

About the Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP)

The Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) has been designed as a key platform to help governments and other stakeholders collaborate for more effective management of protected areas in the region. The partnership was initiated in 2013 at the first-ever Asia Parks Congress held in Japan, and formally launched the following year at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Australia. It is chaired by IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, and co-chaired by an APAP member organisation on a rotational basis, beginning with the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.

http://www.asiaprotectedareaspartnership.org/

 About IUCN

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. IUCN’s work focuses on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food and development. IUCN supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world, and brings governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO Members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. www.iucn.org

For more info, please contact:

Ann Moey, Head of Communications, IUCN Asia. ann.moey@iucn.org, +66 922598035