World Elephant Day: Govt sets tech-driven norms to help reduce man-elephant conflict

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NEW DELHI: With India reporting a huge number of cases of human-elephant conflict every year, the Union

environment ministry

has released a comprehensive guideline to mitigate such conflicts through scaling up multiple technological interventions including wider use of drones, solar electric fence and sensors.
Each year, human-elephant conflict results in about 500 human deaths and damage to thousands of houses and millions of hectares of crops, while over 100


die due to human activities such as poaching for ivory or meat, poisoning, electrocution and collision with trains.
“To manage conflicts and avoid loss of valuable lives of both the humans and elephants, it is important to strengthen the human-elephant coexistence,” said the Union environment minister

Prakash Javadekar

while releasing a booklet on “Best practices of Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) Management in India” on Monday.
He said, “Efforts are in full swing to provide food and water to the


in the forests itself to deal with the growing human-animal conflict cases.”
Globally, wild Asian elephants are present in 13 countries. The current population estimates indicate that there are about 50,000-60000 Asian elephants in the world. More than 60% of the global population of Asian elephants is in India.
The booklet is a pictorial guide of a variety of management inventions, successfully adopted by the elephant range states and serves as a reference manual for adoption of the best possible site-specific mitigation measures that can be adopted to reduce human-elephant conflict.
A national web portal on human-elephant conflict - called Surakhsya - for managing the conflicts on a real time basis was also launched on the occasion. It’ll help in setting data collection protocols, data transmission pipelines and data visualization tools to enable policy-makers to leverage HEC data for policy formulation and for preparation of precise action plans for mitigation of conflicts.
“At present, the beta version of the portal is launched for data testing before the pan India roll out for adoption by the states, which is likely to be done before year end,” said the ministry in a statement.

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