The Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) currently works in over 130 national parks and sanctuaries of India across 23 states, covering 82% of 50 tiger reserves and 18% of 733 nature reserves. With over 3.5 million people living inside tiger reserves and several hundred million dependent on natural ecosystems, they cannot separate communities from conservation. Thus, WCT lays equal emphasis on wildlife conservation and community development.
The communities living in and around India’s forests depend heavily on forest produce to supplement their income. They help impart vocational training to young people and co-ordinate with over 100 job providers to find them gainful employment, thereby reducing their dependency and negative impact on forests.
They understand the value of education to a child’s future and work extensively with government schools in forests by building the capacity of teachers, providing infrastructural support and creating alternative avenues for learning.
Realising that these remotely-located communities lack access to quality healthcare, they conduct health camps, providing relief to both villagers and forest department staff.
Our efforts in these three arenas are greatly complimented by our protection initiatives. They work closely with forest departments to ensure that they have the best equipment and training to carry out their duties. In a first of its kind initiative, they provided multi-utility rescue vehicles to parks to tackle man-animal conflict and also equipped 2,100 Anti-poaching Camps in over 60 parks. Our team has imparted enforcement training to over 8,700 staff and continues to conduct sessions in forest institutes. Above all they conduct scientific research to push for more robust wildlife management policies.