Last autumn AES helped fund a technical workshop to help reduce train-elephant accidents. It was held November 16-17, 2018, in Jalpaiguri in the state of West Bengal, India. The workshop brought together government officials from the Forest and Railways Departments, as well as individuals with expertise in technology and wildlife conservation.
During the workshop there were interesting presentations about new technology that may serve to develop early warning systems to notify train engine drivers about the presence of elephants near the tracks. There were also presentations about elephant movement (based on radio collar studies) in West Bengal, and updates from the Forest Department and Railways Department officials about efforts they have taken to reduce collisions between trains and elephants.
After the presentations and discussions there was a field site visit to an area of railway tracks that has seen several accidents.
The outcome of the workshop will be a document identifying priorities and needs, including how NGOs can help, that will be presented to a higher level of government - both Forest Dept and Railways Dept