This project is conceptualised based on the findings of a long-term study conducted by Shekhar Kolipaka in the Panna region of Madhya Pradesh State, India (Read the article here).
Tiger conservation landscapes in India encompass mosaics of protected areas (PA’s), private lands and multiple-use public lands. Effective ways to manage areas outside PA’s for the co-existence of people and tigers (as well as other wildlife) are being explored by government managers and conservationists. In India, the Hindu religion and tribal communities subscribe to animistic beliefs and have at their core an ethos of stewardship that values the natural world. Religious leaders and religious institutions (formal and informal) play an active role in the transmission of these beliefs and in the adherence of norms established around core values. For this reason, conservation outside PA’s can significantly benefit by involving religious leaders from various traditions. Likewise, their support can be invaluable in resolving amiably wildlife conflicts about livestock losses.
Leo Foundation supports local conservation initiatives that are based on this idea of involving faith leaders to engage local communities around Panna National Park and increasing awareness on local wildlife.