Wild-CER participated actively in the Conservation Partner’s Meet organized at Infinity Resorts, Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, in March 2023.
Our conservation partner, Wildlife Trust of India organized this event at Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand. 49 organisations working under four partnership alliances gathered to discuss the state of wildlife conservation and share their conservation efforts in their respective areas. These four networks included the Green Corridor Champions (GCC), Rapid Action Project (RAP), Emergency Relief Network (ERN) and Cyber Spotters from the Wildlife Crime Control Division of WTI.
The meeting was curated in a way to build the capacity of grassroots organizations for skills which are crucial to the success of the work they do and to achieve our shared conservation goals in a more efficient and impactful manner. On the first day, three select partner organization representatives from each of the networks were given the opportunity to present their work to our esteemed panel of board members and trustees. The selection was through a presentation submission where the participants were evaluated based on their impact of work, innovation in conservation, collaboration and creativity.
Group sessions on technical aspects of conservation management including communicating conservation achievements led by Mr. Pranav Capila and fundamentals of fundraising, planning monitoring and evaluating conservation projects led by Mr. Abhishek Narayanan (HCL Foundation) and Mr. Sahil Choksi (Head of Development at WTI) were organized on the first day. Given that most partners are founders of their organisations, this tailored approach of sessions specifically targeting organization building was quite useful. A session on planning, monitoring and evaluation of conservation project was led by Dr. Samir K. Sinha (Joint Director and Chief Ecologist, WTI).
On the second day of the meet, participants were divided into two groups. The first group were taken on a nature walk through the forests around Kyari village, Corbett, led by knowledgeable nature guides from Camp Hornbill, a community-based enterprise that promotes eco-tourism and nature conservation in the Kyari village. Parallelly, another session was conducted for the second group by WTI’s Emergency Relief Network Lead, Mr. Rudra Mahapatra with an hands-on exercise on personnel safety while responding to wildlife emergencies in case of natural disasters.
Day 2 further progressed with a technical session on briefing the attendees on legal provisions under the Wildlife Protection Act. 1972. Parallel sessions were further held on fundamentals of conservation campaigns, nature education for children and communities, and the ethics of community engagement by Ms. Rupa Gandhi Chowdhury, Mr. Raman Kumar and Dr. Samir K. Sinha respectively. Parallel sessions were also held on the basic first aid to injured birds and mammals during wildlife rescue situations, led by Dr. Bhaskar Chowdhury, Head of Rescue at WTI and Dr. Anjan Talukdar from Dubai Zoo.
The final day was highlighted with a park visit for all the attendees to the Bijrani and Jhirna ranges of Jim Corbett National Park. Travelling together for this trip not only helped to bring the spirit of camaraderie and teamwork to the fore but also connected like-minded individuals.
CPM 2023 was a way to recognize and celebrate the efforts of grass-root level individuals and organizations working to protect and conserve the biodiversity. This was a powerful motivator, encouraging conservation champions to continue their efforts and inspiring others to get involved in nature conservation work. This meeting has also helped team WTI to gather new insights, shared experiences and feedbacks.