Wildlife Trust of India
NGO founded: 1998
Partnership with WLT formed: 2003
Organisation’s aim: To conserve nature, especially endangered species and threatened habitats, in partnership with communities and governments. The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is committed to the protection of India’s wildlife; it achieves this by working in partnership with local communities and governments on a range of projects, from species rehabilitation to the prevention of the illegal wildlife trade.
WTI formed in response to the declining state of the country’s wildlife and natural environment. The organisation started small with only three members of staff but has since grown substantially and now has well over 100 staff that co-ordinate numerous projects.
Partnership with WLT
WLT received a proposal from WTI in 2003 with a request to help fund their Wild Lands Elephant Corridors Programme. After a site visit to assess the feasibility of funding wildlife corridors in India, WLT became partners with WTI and funded the protection of the Siju-Rewak Corridor. Since then WLT has successfully raised funds for the protection of further wildlife corridors in India.
Projects with WLT
The WLT is helping to fund the protection of elephant corridors throughout India, to safeguard migratory routes for elephants and other wildlife. The aim is to reduce conflict between India’s wild animals and its people.
WLT funds a Reforestation programme in the Garo Hills, in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya, which uses enrichment planting and assisted natural regeneration to establish more trees in the area.
Following the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, the WLT set up the Reef & Mangrove appeal to help fund a feasibility study for coral restoration in India. It also raised funds for a coral reef and mangrove protection and regeneration project on Danjugan Island, a nature reserve WLT helped fund in the Philippines.
Other projects and activities
- Wild Aid is a fast acting response to events, such as tsunamis and collisions between elephants and trains;
- Wild Rescue is a unit which provides long term rescue and rehabilitation to species, including Asian elephants, tigers, One Horned rhinos and Asiatic Black bears;
- Wild Species is an ecological and research skill set which studies species and habitat recovery;
- Tackling wildlife crime through PELT (Policy, Enforcement, Law and Training);
- Communities and education programmes to raise awareness of wildlife issues and working with local people to develop sustainable and alternative livelihoods, in favour of those that have a negative impact on the environment.
Awards and achievements
- In 2009 a WTI film, A Shawl to Die for, won a prestigious Vatavaran Film Festival award for Technical Excellency in cinematography. The festival is for Indian and international films on the environment and wildlife; the film featured the fashion for Shahtoosh weaving in Kashmir and the plight of the Tibetan antelope, or Chiru, which is killed to extract the fibres for weaving.
- WTI was instrumental in getting the Whale shark listed under appendix II of CITES and the species is now celebrated in a country where it was previously persecuted.
Wild Lands Programme Officer: Dr Sandeep Tiwari