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Pramod Giri, Hindustan Times
Siliguri, February 21, 2013
The governments of India and Nepal are set to formulate a joint policy to mitigate man-elephant conflicts along the India-Nepal border, with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) working as facilitator between the two parties. If all goes well, the killing of Indian elephants in Nepal, vis a vis the killing of Nepalese villagers, would be reduced substantially. Nepal has already promised to work on changing crop patterns along affected areas. Bengal forest officials have emphasisedonmassiveimprovement in elephant habitation.

WWF has suggested the use of Immuno-Contraceptive technique to check elephant populations.

Man-elephant conflicts on either side of the border came up for final consultations on Tuesday between forest and government representatives of both countries, after which WWF prepared a report, to be submitted to governments of both countries and the matter discussed at bilateral meetings between both countries.

Human conflict with pachyderms in Darjeeling in West Bengal and Jhapa district in Nepal, has already taken on alarming proportions. Indian elephants entering Nepal villages after crossing the Mechi River, are regularly shot, poisoned or electrocuted while the marauding elephants damage houses in Nepal and kill villagers.

In January 2011, WWF took up the issue and there have been six rounds of meetings since then, in India and Nepal, aimed at mitigating the problem. Tuesday’s meeting was the final one.