Sept. 5, 2012
-- Gainesville, FL
-- Dr. Brijesh Thapa, Director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute at the University of Florida and Associate Professor in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management was just awarded a research grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service –Division of International Conservation to examine human-elephant conflict in the Bahundangi village community in eastern Nepal.
The goal of the project is to create a multi-pronged strategy for mitigation (conflict resolution between humans and elephants) based on current and new initiatives implemented in Bahundangi. The project aims to fulfill data gaps and develop a system whereby the community is self-reliant to mitigate the conflict in a sustainable manner. The long term goal of the project is to formulate sustainable solutions for mitigation in Bahundangi in order to decrease crop depredation and no human and elephant causalities.
To achieve this goal, the project has formulated four objectives: 1) fulfill knowledge gaps in elephant movement and conflict; 2) support the community for maintenance of their current mitigation approach; 3) provide evidence-based policy advocacy, and 4) provide conservation education and community outreach. Based on the objectives, eight activities have been formulated to be implemented during one year. The activities are comprised of science-based research activities such as: GPS tracking of elephant movement; developing action plans and a conflict mitigation framework; providing training, education and outreach programs; and advocating for policy at the national and trans-boundary levels.
The Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute is committed to building a bridge between the tourism industry, organizations, destinations, and higher education through excellence in interdisciplinary research that provides strategic information focused on a wide array of travel, tourism and hospitality opportunities.
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