Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Mithila Wildlife Trust (MWT) signed an agreement to implement an UK Government match funded project with project title “Empowering Rural Communities to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade and Enhance Socio-economic Resilience” in November 2020. The project will be known as “UKAM Project” in short form.
Project Overview: The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is undertaking a groundbreaking project aimed at empowering remote rural communities in Kenya and Nepal to combat the illegal wildlife trade while enhancing their socio-economic resilience. By combining community engagement, capacity building, sustainable livelihood support, and wildlife conservation efforts, this project seeks to foster a harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife, ensuring a sustainable future for both.
Project period: 01.11.2020 to 31.10.2023
Project Location: Doodhpani Community Forest, Mithila Municipality-11, Dhanusha, Province No.-2, Nepal.
Key Activities implemented through the project are as under.
1. Community Workshops and Engagement:
Initial community engagement will take place to address key areas such as livelihoods, community policing, human rights, law enforcement, equitable institution building, and Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI). A GESI database will be created, identifying marginalized groups, such as disabled individuals, poachers’ families, ethnic minorities, and ultra-poor communities, to ensure inclusive participation in project activities.
2. Empowerment and Advocacy:
The project aims to empower marginalized community members through leadership training and awareness sessions to advocate for equitable benefits sharing within Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and broader society.
3. Participatory Mapping and Resource Rights:
Communities will engage in participatory mapping exercises to identify sustainable resource use rights. The project will support the pursuit of these rights, ensuring responsible and sustainable resource management.
4. Community Cooperatives and Livelihood Support:
Community banks will be established to facilitate sustainable financial interventions, and capacity building will be provided for community members to engage in successful livelihood strategies. Pre-feasibility studies will be conducted to identify viable livelihood opportunities.
5. Human-Wildlife Co-existence (HWC):
The project will establish representative, community-led Human Wildlife Coexistence cooperatives (HWC Co-ops). Members will receive training to develop locally appropriate HWC plans, employing traditional knowledge and current best practices. Equitable loan funds will support mitigation activities in priority areas, including bio-fencing and habitat management.
6. Wildlife and Ecosystem Monitoring:
The project will monitor key wildlife species, such as rhinos, tigers, pangolins, and their prey, to assess population dynamics and ecological health. Socioeconomic monitoring will also be conducted to track the well-being of intervention communities.
Expected Outcomes of the project are as follows.
1. Empowered Communities:
The project aims to empower rural communities by providing access to resources, education, and training, thereby improving their socio-economic conditions and resilience to external challenges.
2. Strengthened Conservation Efforts:
Through community-led conservation initiatives and human-wildlife coexistence plans, the project seeks to reduce illegal wildlife trade and enhance wildlife protection in the target regions.
Impact and Sustainability:
By fostering community ownership and building local capacity, the project aims to ensure the sustainability of its efforts long after its conclusion. Strong partnerships and collaboration with local stakeholders will contribute to lasting impacts on wildlife conservation and community development.
Join us in our mission to protect wildlife, empower rural communities, and combat illegal wildlife trade. Your support and participation are invaluable to the success of this critical project.
For more information about the project or to get involved, please contact us!