Case Studies UNDP: SRI LANKA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY, Sri Lanka

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  • 7/27/2019 Case Studies UNDP: SRI LANKA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY, Sri Lanka

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    Equator Initiative Case StudiesLocal sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities

    Sri Lanka

    SRI LANKA WILDLIFECONSERVATION SOCIETY

    Empowered live

    Resilient nation

    Empowered live

    Resilient nation

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    UNDP EQUATOR INITIATIVE CASE STUDY SERIES

    Local and indigenous communities across the world are advancing innovative sustainable development solutions that wo

    or people and or nature. Few publications or case studies tell the ull story o how such initiatives evolve, the breadth

    their impacts, or how they change over time. Fewer still have undertaken to tell these stories with community practition

    themselves guiding the narrative.

    To mark its 10-year anniversary, the Equator Initiative aims to ll this gap. The ollowing case study is one in a growing ser

    that details the work o Equator Prize winners vetted and peer-reviewed best practices in community-based environmenconservation and sustainable livelihoods. These cases are intended to inspire the policy dialogue needed to take local succ

    to scale, to improve the global knowledge base on local environment and development solutions, and to serve as models

    replication. Case studies are best viewed and understood with reerence to The Power o Local Action: Lessons rom 10 Years

    the Equator Prize, a compendium o lessons learned and policy guidance that draws rom the case material.

    Click on the map to visit the Equator Initiatives searchable case study database.

    EditorsEditor-in-Chie: Joseph Corcoran

    Managing Editor: Oliver HughesContributing Editors: Dearbhla Keegan, Matthew Konsa, Erin Lewis, Whitney Wilding

    Contributing WritersEdayatu Abieodun Lamptey, Erin Atwell, Toni Blackman, Jonathan Clay, Joseph Corcoran, Larissa Currado, Sarah Gordon, Oliver Hughe

    Wen-Juan Jiang, Sonal Kanabar, Dearbhla Keegan, Matthew Konsa, Rachael Lader, Patrick Lee, Erin Lewis, Jona Liebl, Mengning Ma,

    Mary McGraw, Gabriele Orlandi, Juliana Quaresma, Peter Schecter, Martin Sommerschuh, Whitney Wilding, Luna Wu

    DesignOliver Hughes, Dearbhla Keegan, Matthew Konsa, Amy Korngiebel, Kimberly Koserowski, Erin Lewis, John Mulqueen, Lorena de la Pa

    Brandon Payne, Mariajos Satizbal G.

    AcknowledgementsThe Equator Initiative acknowledges with gratitude the Sri Lanka Wildlie Conservation Society, and in particular the guidance and inp

    o Ravi Correa. All photo credits courtesy o Sri Lanka Wildlie Conservation Society. Maps courtesy o CIA World Factbook and Wikiped

    Suggested CitationUnited Nations Development Programme. 2012. Sri Lanka Wildlie Conservation Society, Sri Lanka. Equator Initiative Case Study Series. N

    York, NY.

    http://equatorinitiative.org/images/stories/events/2012events/Book_Launch/power%2520of%2520local%2520action%2520final%25202013%25208mb.pdfhttp://equatorinitiative.org/images/stories/events/2012events/Book_Launch/power%2520of%2520local%2520action%2520final%25202013%25208mb.pdfhttp://equatorinitiative.org/index.php?option=com_winners&view=casestudysearch&Itemid=858http://equatorinitiative.org/images/stories/events/2012events/Book_Launch/power%2520of%2520local%2520action%2520final%25202013%25208mb.pdfhttp://equatorinitiative.org/images/stories/events/2012events/Book_Launch/power%2520of%2520local%2520action%2520final%25202013%25208mb.pdf
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    PROJECT SUMMARYSri Lanka Wildlie Conservation Society works to enablecommunities across the country to balance ecosystemprotection and economic development by exploring waysto resolve human-elephant conict through communitydevelopment, capacity building, and research.

    Recognizing that one o the biggest threats to elephants inSri Lanka is conict with humans, oten through crop raiding,and that human settlements are increasingly encroachingurther into elephant habitat, the initiative has workedwith rural communities to develop a range o innovative

    mitigation measures. These include the use o solar-powered electrical ences, adjustments in crop cultivationtimerames, and the introduction o alternative crops.The project has also addressed a range o interconnectedsocioeconomic issues such as sustainable land use, capacitybuilding, and gender equality by promoting agroorestryand home garden development, and by extending accessto new technologies and microcredit.

    KEY FACTS

    EQUATOR PRIZE WINNER: 2008

    FOUNDED: 1997

    LOCATION: Dehiwala, Sri Lanka

    BENEFICIARIES: 16,500 villagers in three provinces

    BIODIVERSITY: Asian elephant

    3

    SRI LANKA WILDLIFE CONSERVATIONSOCIETYSri Lanka

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Background and Context 4

    Key Activities and Innovations 6

    Biodiversity Impacts 8

    Socioeconomic Impacts 8

    Policy Impacts 9

    Sustainability 10

    Replication 10

    Partners 10

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    4

    Despite being one o the smallest countries in Asia, Sri Lanka supports

    he largest biodiversity per unit o area on the continent. Over the

    ast three decades, the pressures o a rapidly expanding population

    ave resulted in the countrys globally signicant biodiversity being

    hreatened by deorestation, land degradation and the unregulated

    xploitation o natural resources. Over 80 per cent o the countrys

    atural orest cover has been degraded due to agriculture, irrigation,

    ndustrialization, urbanization and logging. Over 22 mammal

    pecies, 14 bird species and 280 species o higher plants in Sri Lanka

    re currently classied as threatened.

    ri Lanka Wildlie Conservation Society (SLWCS) has been proactive

    n launching initiatives to prevent the loss o biodiversity, recognizinghe role that healthy ecosystems play in sustaining essential

    cological services such as pollination, seed dispersal and natural

    est control. SLWCS is committed to the development o innovative

    trategies to address human-elephant conicts (HEC), one o the

    most pressing environmental and socioeconomic concerns in rural

    ri Lanka. Over the past 14 years, SLWCS has established several

    andmark projects to address HEC that have been internationally

    ecognized and have been emulated in other Asian elephant range

    ountries.

    A agship species

    he Asian elephant (elephas maximus) is one o the most endangeredmega-herbivores on the planet and to conserve viable populations

    elephants in the wild is an enormous challenge. Their conservation

    s o the utmost importance, as conservation o this agship species

    esults in the protection o several other mammal, bird and reptile

    pecies in the area. Over the last our decades, the Asian elephant

    opulation has declined dramatically, with habitat loss and conict

    with humans posing the biggest threats to its survival. As human

    ettlements encroach urther and urther into elephant habitat,

    ncidences o crop raiding increase and lead to the destruction o

    rops, homes and livelihoods.

    Human-elephant conict

    Even though the people o Sri Lanka and the elephant share a cul

    bond that is over 5,000 years old, and the elephant is a living sy

    o Sri Lankan culture, human-elephant conicts have becom

    critical conservation problem in wildlie management, i not

    o the most pressing environmental and socioeconomic conc

    in Sri Lanka. Ever year, between 150 and 200 elephants are kille

    retaliation by armers or their destruction o crops, while betw

    60 and 80 people on average are killed annually by elephants

    crisis escalates every year and HECs are now common in eig

    Sri Lankas nine Administrative Provinces, directly and indir

    aecting over three million people.

    According to data gathered by the Elephant Conservation Un

    the Department o Wildlie Conservation (DWC), rom 1991 to 2

    1,138 people were killed by elephants and some 2,844 eleph

    were killed by armers. From 2004 to 2007 a total o 3,103 ho

    were destroyed by elephants.

    In addition to the above losses, the damages caused by eleph

    to paddy elds, home gardens, maize, cereal crops and coc

    plantations have been estimated at USD 10 million annua

    huge cost or subsistence armers to bear. Today, human-elep

    conicts dene the relationship between people and eleph

    in Sri Lanka. A HEC survey conducted in 1998 showed that ohouseholds in one village, 64 per cent had experienced cro

    property damage due to elephant incursions and each house

    spent roughly USD 84 per annum on the purchase o HEC mitig

    supplies kerosene oil, recrackers, ashlight batteries and bul

    protect their crops and homes. This represents approximately t

    per cent o the mean annual income.

    Roughly ve square kilometers o land is needed to suppo

    elephant without upsetting the natural balance that exists betw

    the elephant and the dry zone habitats in which most wi

    Background and Context

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    55

    esides. The current population o about 3,500 elephants thereore

    equires roughly 17,500 km2 or 27 per cent o the total land areaor its exclusive use. The system o protected areas in Sri Lanka,

    owever, covers only 12.5 per cent o the land area (or 8,200 km2).

    hus, national parks and nature reserves alone cannot ensure the

    o