Sustainable Solution for Human – Elephant Conflict in Sri Lanka

RATIONALE

It is apparent than anywhere else that elephants and humans are not getting along well in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka during the last decade 50-75 people have been killed by elephants every year and as many as 150 elephants are being killed each year.

Deforestation and forest degradation are   most serious environmental issues in Sri Lanka. In the beginning of the 20th century Sri Lanka had a 49% forest cover but in the beginning of the 21st century regrettably it has been reduced to 26%. During the last two decades the country lost an average of 26,800 ha of forest per year as a result of deforestation and forest degradation. Deforestation has been due to development process mainly agriculture, plantation and growth in population.

Forest degradation had been due to make way for irrigation network, increase of paddy lands , roads, extraction of forest products for timber charcoal or resin,  pests,  diseases, air pollution soil erosion and acid rain.  The forest degradation is not merely a reduction of the forest area but the quality or the condition of the forest decrease and biological wealth of the forest diminish due to less number of trees or less species of trees, plants and animals.

The HABITAT is shrinking daily as humans are encroaching into the territory of elephants and other wild life. As the development takes hold, the elephants have nowhere else to go and end up in fields searching for food and this has threatened the crops and the villagers. Like any other wild animal that is losing its habitat, elephants are becoming more aggressive and people are losing their crops as their lives.

Elephants are endangered and it is illegal to kill them but the villagers are desperate and the elephants are being shot, poisoned and electrocuted. Other than this the elephants are dying by other means such as being hit by trains, falling into agricultural wells, blown up with explosives and have become casualties due to conflicts.

Even after rehabilitation, the   elephants that are orphaned or injured are being released back to the wild and wonder back to the villages, as they have lost their habitat and find little room to roam, the elephants are running out of safe space. According to the research conducted, it is confirmed that human elephant conflict is escalating in many parts of the country thus it is important to implement a nature based sustainable solution for human elephant conflict.

The Project to be implemented by Call to Share & Care Fund

Environment conservation

Organization carried out a research and studies to find out the different behavioral patterns of the wild elephant in the districts of Ampara, Hambantota, Monaragala and Polonnaruwa. Based on the field studies and researches C.S.C fund has discovered some plant varieties which are

Project Description

General Goals

The main goal of this project is to achieve a long term cost effective nature based solution to the human elephant conflict which is considered as a frequently reported disaster in Sri Lanka.

Sub Goals

To fulfill the above goals, specific objectives, activities and methodology have to be adopted.

Objectives

To fulfill the above goals, specific objectives, activities and methodology have to be adopted.

Activities and Methodology

Purpose of achieving the objectives (03) three most vulnerable areas have been selected and each area will be subdivided into (17) seventeen units and (51) subunits. The following activities to be executed and methodology to be used to accomplish each objective

Objective 01

To reach ecological,  feasible, reliable and productive resilient by  growing rows of  mix of plant varieties  parallel to the electric  fence to reduce long term human elephant conflict and maintain it for a period six years for future options.