Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation with financial support from WWF/USAID/Hariyo Ban Program and in coordination with Suklagandaki Municipality, Ward-12 and Division Forest Office, Tanahu organised a training workshop and awareness program at Jaspur and Pyuridovan, Suklagandaki Municipality-12, Tanahu on 11 and 12 May 2019. The program aimed at disseminating theoretical and practical knowledge about development and management of community nursery, plantation, farming, concept of bio-fencing and aware participants about the importance of crop pattern change to enhance productivity as well as minimize damage caused by wildlife specially the monkeys. The training workshops and awareness programs are the part of the ongoing project on mitigating human-primate conflict through habitat management as an approach to enhance sustainable co-existence with primates along the Seti corridor.
The first day of the program commensed in presence of Mr. Man Raj Gurung, Suklagandaki Ward-12 President , Mr. Baburam Uprety, Assistant Forest Officer at Division Forest Office, Damauli, Mr. Rabin Kumar Shrestha, Health Assistant and Ms. Sushmita Poudel, ANM at Firfire Health Post, Lamagaun, Mrs. Shova Gurung, Principal at Tribhuvan Basic School, Dhor, Jaspur, Mr. Bhim Bahadur Gurung, Vice President of Pragatisil Community Forests User Groups, Mr. Bishan Gurung, Local coordinator for the training workshop program, and representatives of Pragatisil, Jaspur and other CFUGs, women, men and youths in the area. The second day’s training workshop was conducted at Pyuridovan, Tanahun with local coordination from Mr. Yuvraj Shrestha in presence of Mr. Man Bahadur Bhujel, Treasurer of Jaspur CFUG and principal of Shree Janashishu Kalyan Primary School, CFUG members and local people.
Mr. Baburam Uprety, Assistant Forest Officer at Division Forest Office, Damauli conducted the training sessions on the topics of habitat management, crop pattern changes and farming system. Mr. Uprety encouraged the participants to think about sustainable ways of farming, agriculture and better plantation programs suitable in the area. The session was interactive where the participants presented their opinions and discussed the issues among the participants. Mr. Rabin Kumar Shrestha, Health Assistant and Ms. Sushmita Poudel, ANM at Firfire Health Post, Lamagaun conducted session on safety and first aid measures especially in relation to the attacks by monkeys and other wild animals. Previous cases of wild animal attacks were discussed and the resource persons addressed things to be careful in such cases of injuries to avoid complications. Ms. Sabina Koirala, PhD scholar on primate study at Chinese Academy of Sciences, China took session introducing the participants about the primate, species of primates found in Nepal, importance of researches on primates including their behavioral aspects and issues of human-primate conflict. Ms. Koirala addressed the need of proper study on causes of the conflicts in order to take proper steps in minimizing the conflicts. She also shared about the points to be careful to avoid attacks from primates. Short videos were displayed about the nursery and plantation and different approaches conducted in other countries to deter the primates from the farmlands.
The poster containing messages about safety measures against primate attack was launched by Mr. Baburam Uprety and Mr. Man Raj Gurung. Laminated primate posters were handed over to the ward office and the schools. The posters were distributed to the schools, teachers, members of the CFUGs and all the participants. Pre and post assessment were done from all the participants to assess the effectiveness of the training workshop and awareness program. Along with that, the issues of human-primate conflicts and suggestions were collected from all the participants. Certificates were distributed to the participants of the training. Total 102 local people participated in the two days training workshop and awareness program with 46% participation of women. The month of May (5th to 11th May) also marked the International Macaque Week to raise awareness on the primate species.