GNF - Prevention of Conflicts between Humans and Elephants

Prevention of Conflicts between Humans and Elephants

Development of cross-border approaches to mitigate conflicts between humans and elephants and to protect small farmers at the foot of the Himalayas



The border area between Nepal and India in the Terai lowlands is a human settlement centre and home to the last wild Asian elephants in Nepal, whose population is estimated at 100 - 125 animals. Due to an increasing transformation of the elephants' natural habitat into settlement and farmland, conflicts between the inhabitants of the Terai and the elephants are increasingly arising. In their attempts to keep the migrating elephants away from their crops and homes, the inhabitants of the buffer zones of the national parks and elephant migration corridors suffer considerable damage to their belongings as well as their lives and limb every year - often with consequences that threaten their existence.


Compensation programmes for damage caused by wildlife are inadequate and involve high bureaucratic hurdles, so that they cannot create lasting acceptance for the coexistence of humans and elephants. The lack of acceptance of elephants means that the animals are repeatedly killed or poisoned. This undermines the conservation efforts of the Nepalese and Indian governments to protect the last remaining wild elephants and to generate income from tourism in the protected areas.

Project Goals

Improvement of the safety and protection of the local population's harvests and lives through harmonious coexistence between people and wild Asian elephants. To fulfil this goal, three objectives have been defined:

  1. The local population, especially small farmers and forest users, are aware of the behavioural ecology and land use of elephants and are warned of attacks so that they can react appropriately
  2. The national park administrations and the competent forestry authorities have formulated measures, implement them together with land user groups and receive broad support in the cross-border context
  3. Cross-border cooperation on elephant conservation is strengthened between Nepal and India

Project Measures

In order to achieve those goals, several activities have been set up:

  • Raising awareness and changing the behaviour of the local population, which includes: the establishment of elephant protection groups, evaluation of the effectiveness of existing conflict reduction approaches, training and awareness raising programmes for the local population
  • Capacity building and strengthening the capacity of authorities and multipliers to act, which includes: pilot an early warning system, capacity building for multipliers and revision of local management plans for elephant protection
 Asian Elephant
 Ein Elefanten-Beobachtungposten am Dorfrand
 Ein typisches Dorf


 German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
 Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union
 Community development supported by Sika AG.

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

The project should make a concrete contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

 Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
 Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
 Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
 Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Project Partners

Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS) is a non-profit NGO based in Kolkata, which was founded in 1991 and has so far been involved in over 40 projects for nature and ecosystem conservation, the preservation of natural resources and the preservation of the natural basis of life in poor rural communities. GNF has been working closely with NEWS since 2016, among others in two BMZ-funded projects in mangrove protection. The reduction of conflicts between humans and elephants is another long-standing focal point of NEWS' work.


Ujayalo Nepal from Badia Nepal, is a recognised local and non-profit nature conservation organisation founded in 2007. Its work focuses on the sustainable development of communities on the edge of protected areas and the prevention of conflicts with wildlife, especially elephants.


The Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU, Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V.) is the oldest and largest conservation union in Germany and a cooperation partner on elephant conservation in South Asia.


 Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS)
 Ujayalo Nepal (Bright Nepal) Bardia
 Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union

Contact persons

Ms Laura Maeso Velasco

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Bonn

Phone: +49 228 184 86 94 16



Mr Thies Geertz

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Radolfzell

Phone: +49 7732 9995 83



Project Period:


Project Countries: 


Project Partners:





December 2020 – November 2022


India and Nepal


Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS), India

Ujayalo Foundation, Nepal

Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), Germany


German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), Sika AG