Chandigarh: In order to improve the capacities of the forest frontline staff, two training programs were organized under the GoI-GEF-UNDP SECURE Himalaya project at Forest Training Institute, Sunder-Nagar from 1 st to 13 th February, 2021 in which 40 frontline forest staff including Range Officers, Beat Officers, Forest Guards were trained from Lahaul, Pangi, and Kinnaur divisions.
Sh. Anil Thakur, CCF (Wildlife) and State Nodal Officer SECURE Himalaya informed that the first training program was on “Role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Wildlife and Forest Management” in which the forest officials were trained on modern IT-based tools and techniques like camera trapping, radio-collaring, ANIDERS (Animal Intrusion Detection and Repellent System), Deep search metal detectors, Flora and fauna based web apps, GPS, Social media, etc. The second training programs was on “Wildlife crime scene investigation and basics on wildlife forensics to frontline staff” in which the officials were trained by experts and subject matter specialist from Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, and the Police Department on different aspects of wildlife forensics from field sample collection to laboratory analysis which will help the department to identify the animal species from their remains, causes of death, and also in the convictions of the culprits in the judiciary.
Dr. Manoj Thakur, State Project Officer, SECURE Himalaya told that a capacity development strategy has been developed for the project by Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun both for the government as well as community stakeholders and more training programs will be organized in the coming time to equip all the stakeholders with required capacities to perform their tasks for achieving the overall goal of the project.
The SECURE project is being implemented with the help of UNDP and GEF in Lahaul, Pangi, and Kinnaur Landscapes of Himachal Pradesh. The project is working on the improved management of
high range Himalayan ecosystems to protect the globally significant wildlife of these landscapes like
Snow Leopard and other important species by providing alternative livelihood opportunities to local
communities by reducing the resource dependency on natural resources as well as other threats like
wildlife crime and illegal trade in wildlife.