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Projects in Bhutan

Human-Elephant Conflict Program for Schools

Chris Rico

HEC in Bhutan has become an increasing problem, especially around the perimeter of the Royal Manas National Park (RMNP).  Mr. Yeshy Wangdi is a forestry official from the area and has conducted several HEC awareness programs in nearby schools over the years.  This past year the classes were held at two local schools within the RMNP buffer zone.  The goal is for students to learn the natural history, biology, and ultimately the cultural value of elephants within their society.  The hope is for these children to go on and teach their relatives and other community members about the importance of saving elephants within their country and how to coexist peacefully.  The program consisted of a PowerPoint presentation, a role-play enactment of elephant conflict, prizes, and a Q&A session.  After following up with the students, Mr. Wangdi found and overall 75% increase in positive attitude towards elephants from the kids.  We’d call that a success!