Nature Mates always believed in collaboration. One very important project which we have is under the consortium between Nature Mates and SNAP foundation. The project uses modern technologies for long-term interventions in the landscape and to bring down the man-elephant conflict scenario.
- Flash the Lights program: A novel project was initiated in northern Bengal to minimize the risk of human casualties due to elephants. The project aimed at educating local communities regarding the need to follow safety precautions to avoid accidental encounters with elephants. Nature Mates in collaboration with SNAPF conducted safety sessions across 25 tea estates and villages where more than 2000 beneficiaries were given handheld flashlights. These flashlights are to be used while people are venturing out in the dark so that they can spot elephants from a distance and avoid any accidents. The program was carried out across the districts of Darjeeling, Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri.
- Solar Fencing: Based on workshops with local engineers and innovators and consultations with local communities, we developed a low-cost solar fence and installed 3 km of the same in Panijhora Village in Jalpaiguri District. The low-cost fence has been designed to protect crops during the cropping season and some parts of it can be dismantled to allow for the movement of livestock during the non-cropping season. The maintenance responsibility of the fence has been taken up entirely by the local community members of the village.
- Alarm Fencing: Elephants regularly damage tea estate housing areas in search of food and liquor. As a result, human casualties during these events are also common. In collaboration with local innovators and in consultation with local communities, we have installed alarm fences that are triggered when the fences are disturbed by elephants. These fences have been installed around tea-estate labour colonies to warn the workers of elephant entry into the settlement.