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Reducing human-wildlife conflicts in core protected areas in QNNP

By pendeba - Posted on 21 October 2015

With core funding from the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China through its program supporting social organizations, the Pendeba Society's proposed project "Reducing human-wildlife conflicts in core protected areas in QNNP" gained much attention and was successfully put in to implementation. This has marked our third year of consecutive funding support from the Ministry.

The Pendeba Society follows a strategy that focuses on innovation and development, and plays a key role in the course of community development and conservation in QNNP. This year's project area has a climatic and geographical advantage that enables multi-seasonal agricultural harvest. However, given enforced wildlife protection, increased wildlife in return oftentimes destroys farmlands and crops. This has further provoked the human-wildlife conflicts in the area. Local villagers will have to patrol the farmlands day after night. How to improve such situation has therefore become an urgency. The Pendeba Society has relied much on a model of "Three-Way Partnership" that mobilizes the community to participate in the development of the protected area. Three-way partnership involves "bottom-up" initiative from communities, "top-down" support from government agencies, and "outside-in" training and support from peer organizations. The Society together with local governments and communities has conducted thorough assessment and proposed to establish wire fence to keep off wildlife to address the problem.

The project was officially launched on April 25, 2015 in Keyrong Town, which unfortunately coincided with the catastrophic earthquake in Nepal. In the morning, the project was smoothly implemented among participating villagers. No one would know of an earthquake's coming and when it happened, it was destructive, houses collapsing, rocks falling down and telecommunication cut off. We could do nothing but suspend the project and retreat. On April 26, on our way back to Keyrong County Center, a call from Bangxing Village Chief that he and his village would continue the project at this moment. Due to the earthquake, old farmland encloses built by rocks all collapsed and all the livestock went out and started eating and destroying newly grown crops. This has made the situation worse and villagers would have to rescue the crops first from being destroyed by livestock. Among all the participating villages, Xinjiang, Zhuotang and Maga have completed the project with support from local government, while other villages also expressed urgency in restoring the farmland fences first and then disaster relief. The earthquake did not halt our project which in a way shows the project is in great and urgent need in the area. Up to now, except three villages, all the participating villages have completed the project. The earthquake destroyed the roads to the three villages which prevented transportation of fence materials, as a result the completion of project was delayed.

Overall, the project has well protected farmlands and crops from destruction by wildlife such as wild boars. It in a way also helps conserve wildlife's population. Secondly, by protecting farmlands and crops, agricultural security could be maintained and it reduced much social and economical problems to stabilize the border region. Lastly, the project has maintained and reinforced the agricultural infrastructures, promoting the development of other crop production in the region. The project has a total investment of 535, 000 CNY.