G-2993

Habitat Restoration to reduce

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Financing

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Project Description

Region: Asia

Country: India

Location: Masinagudi

Total Budget: $184,557

Area of Focus: The environment



Project Title: Habitat Restoration to reduce Human Wildlife Conflict near Mudhumalai, India

AoF: Environment Action Goal: 1 Hands on Conservation (a) biodiversity

Project Area:

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) (11º32' - 11º43'N, 76º22' - 76º45'E) lies on the northern flank of the Nilgiri Mountain Range in the Western Ghats and is contiguous with Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in the west, Bandipur Tiger Reserve in the north, and Nilgiris Forest Division in the south. The MTR also forms part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The area is renowned for its rich ecological diversity of flora and fauna. This is a Project Tiger Reserve and is home to endangered species like tigers, vultures (critically endangered), elephants, and birds, like the Great Indian Hornbills. The total area of the MTR is 588.59 km2 of which the core zone is attributed to 321 km2 (1). The buffer region has villages made up of tribal populations who use Non-Timber Forest Produce, have cattle, as well as small land holdings for subsistence agriculture. The livelihood opportunities are few, so most youth are leaving the area to look for jobs in nearby cities. Cattle is a mainstay for most populations.

Problem: The area in the buffer as well as the core zone has been over-run with invasive species of (click here Lantana camara), (click here Senna spectabilis), Parthenium spp. to name a few. Of these, Lantana and Senna spread very easily and in areas without intervention, form a mid-canopy. This reduces availability of grass and makes areas inaccessible to ungulates who are the prey to the larger carnivores. Elephants cannot move through most of these areas easily. Both these lead to human-animal conflict with depredation of cattle (2) as well as elephants getting into crop land and habitation. Lantana also has the propensity to burn easily in the wildfire season, along with Parthenium, and poses a huge concern for the Forest Department. Senna spectabilis must be uprooted and replaced immediately with fast growing plant species, or other invasives too spreads fast.

We have had participatory mapping as uprooting of these invasive species but due to labor and financial issues it has been a sporadic effort

Proposal: Rotary Club of Nilgiris West proposes, with the support of the NGO Arulagam, to address the issues of:

1) Removal of 250 acres of Lantana camara over three years, along with adding grass seeds at the time of removal to reduce regrowth of lantana in areas with low and medium infestation, as mapped. Root-cut-stock method will be employed. Training is provided by Society of Ecological Restoration (SER) members from Junglescapes who have restored over 1500 acres in the Tiger Reserve in the neighboring state of Karnataka. With the recent Madras High court order (5) directing Forest Department to release MGNREGA funds to remove invasives, there is greater interest in working on this restoration project.

2) MGNREGA funds amount to one hundred days work to an individual with INR 175 given for a day's work. Normal labour charges are INR 450/day. The balance of the MGNREGA amount to cover a day's income will be covered by the grant for the grant period. As the lantana repurposing unit gets set into a supply chain model, the income will cover the extra amount for labour as well as running other aspects of the project.

3) Setting up a lantana repurposing unit to convert lantana into plywood. which can be used for any packing or carpentry purposes. We are working on the supply chain right now. This will be done in a local area thereby providing income, keeping youth working in the area, as well as provide funds to keep it economically sustainable (6). Once Rotary intervention is over Arulagam will take this enterprise over.

4) Cattle is the major income generator with the tribal villages. There is cattle depredation, around 73 in 2019-2020 with over 30 kills by tigers. The cattle are insured and once a veterinarian examines the carcass, there is a form given to the owner if there has been depredation, the owner can apply for compensation which will come in 4-6 months.

5) A bank account with an amount of around INR 5,00,000, which is in effect cattle insurance fund, will be set up once. The disbursal of 1/3 of the amount coming from the cattle insurance is released by the executive committee set up for this purpose to the cattle owner. The cattle owner returns this amount back to the fund once he receives his full compensation. The executive committee has Rotarians, Arulagam, representative from the Forest Department and the villagers to disburse this fund. The beneficiaries must put in INR 500 to be a part of this scheme.

6) Grass seeds will be collected and used for broadcast in the areas where lantana has been removed.

7) The repurposing unit will employ people to come in and work. There is little skill upgradation required. The unit will be set up on leased land and a lease for ten years will be executed. Further lease agreements will be undertaken by Arulagam.

8) Cattle is also a major food resource for the critically endangered vultures in the region (1). To kill predators, villagers sometimes poison the carcass. Other feature is NSAIDS, and other medicines given by vets to cattle that lead to vulture death. Towards this we are planning field visits of vets and their exposure to NSAIDS and how they kill vultures. This awareness campaign will also take place in veterinarian colleges.

9) Awareness of the effect of medicines to their cattle is also done for the villagers periodically.

10)A citizen's team from the villages are trained to be community conservationists for:

a. Giving the number and species of vultures seen b. Map of nests

Community Assessment: PRA of four villages completed. Two more in next couple of weeks.

Key issues:

• Human-animal conflict • Cattle depredation

• Jobs

• Insurance for cattle when wild animals take them • Self help group set up

Workforce:

Lantana removal: 20 men

Grass seed collection: 5-6 women who will also work in the repurposing unit Lantana repurposing: Payment per piece so many people can work. No skill upgradation required.

Tentative Budget

1) Lantana repurposing - INR 20,00,000 (including salary for people working in the unit)

2) Manager for lantana team 1- INR 18000/ month = INR 6,48,000

3) Lantana removal - INR 65,00,000 (1 acre INR 25000) including salaries for people cutting lantana

4) Cattle insurance fund- INR 5,00,000

5) Vehicle to move between sites - INR 20,00,000

6) Vet awareness (both in situ visit as well as with colleges) - INR 5,00,000

7) Awareness program and insurance help staff (2 x 18000) - INR 36,000/month = INR 12,96,000

8) Administrative charges: 10% INR 13,44,400

Total Budget (approximately) = $184,855

INR 1,34,44,000+ 13,44,400= INR 1,47,88,400

$184,855 at INR 80 = $1 (August 26, 2022)

DDF From Host district $10,000 available

District and Club Support $32, 000

Project Start Time: January 2023

End time Dec 2026

No of Direct Beneficiaries: 35

No. Of Indirect Beneficiaries: 2000

Habitat Restoration and reduction in Humanb Wildlife conflict

Primary Host Partner

District: 3203

Rotary Club of: Nilgiris West

Primary Contact: Balasubramaniam

Email: cmo.smh@gmail.com

Primary International Partner

We are looking for a Club partner. Click here to pledge support for this project. Recording a pledge will make you the Primary International Partner for this project.

Project Status

Need $136,557
This project needs to receive some pledges to go to the next level. Please check the "Financing" tab to see the list of current pledges. Once the amount pledged is equal to the project budget, the status of the project will be automatically changed to "Fully Pledged".
Click here to pledge support for this project.

Project listed for the 2022-23 Rotary Year.

The TRF Grant application number is #2342895.

Proposed Financing

Existing Contributions Towards This Project

Date

Cash

DDF

Total

District 3203 DDF

16-Sep-22

-

$20,000

$20,000

Nilgiris West (3203)

16-Sep-22

$12,000

$0

$12,000

Remaining Amount to Raise

Additional Club Contribution (Needed) - Add a contribution

$136,557

-

$136,557

Amount Requested from The Rotary Foundation

-

$16,000

$16,000

Total

$184,557

Note: as of July 1, 2015 there is a 5% additional support fee for cash contributions. This fee does not appear in the financials above because it does not apply if the funds are sent directly to the project account (without going through TRF, and therefore without Paul Harris credit). Clubs sending their cash contribution to TRF must be aware they will have to send an additional 5%.

Project Supporting Documents


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Project Photos


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History Log Entries

16-Sep-22

System Entry

System Entry: Creation of project page.

16-Sep-22

by Balasubramaniam

System Entry: Pledge of $184,577 with $10,000 DDF by Balasubramaniam of the Rotary Club of Nilgiris West, District 3203.

16-Sep-22

by Balasubramaniam

System Entry: Pledge of $10,000 DDF by Balasubramaniam of the Rotary Club of Nilgiris West, District 3203.

16-Sep-22

by Balasubramaniam

System Entry: Pledge of $12,000 by Balasubramaniam of the Rotary Club of Nilgiris West, District 3203.

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