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India programme

- Manas - Green Caps

Geographical location

Southern border area of the Manas Tiger Reserve, 3 km belt of 100 km length, with about 380,000 inhabitants.

Target groups

People who depend on natural resources of the National Park, especially rural populations with low earning capacities.

Species involved

The Bengal tiger and animal species hunted by them, like the Gaur/Indian bison, the Indian hog deer and the Barasingha.

Local partners

Aaranyak, Panthera, WCT


Collaboration with village communities to protect the Bengal tiger and its natural habitat.

Putting added pressure to reduce activities close to the national park, to protect the tiger.

Developing sustainable income opportunities rather than exploiting natural resources.

Educational work for the protection of the forest and the tiger.

Programme timeline

April 2015

Preliminary study begins

Socio-economic preliminary study as part of the selection process by KfW/IUCN.

November 2015

Start of project

Visit by a delegation of KfW and IUCN at the start of the project.

July 2016

Construction of energy-saving ovens

A new energy-saving oven has been developed and is now being built in 1,500 households.

Protection of the Tiger habitat

The Manas National Park, and the adjacent western and eastern protection areas are forming the cross-border Manas Tiger Reserve, which includes the Bhutanese Royal Manas National Park in the North. With some 500km² of large wood and grassland, and with 20-25 tigers, this is one of the most important habitats for the highly endangered tiger. Along with illegal hunting of the striped cats, the destruction of their habitat is the worst danger for them.
Deforestation, transformation of forests into farmland, massive grazing by cattle, and intensive collection of firewood all lead to the inevitable shrinkage of forest areas and the degradation of grasslands.


Sustainable Development for People and Tigers

The Awely GREEN CAPS project in Manas is part of the UCN and KfW selected and supported project called “Securing Source Population of Tiger, Prey and Habitats in Indo-Bhutan Manas Landscape”, also known as the “Manas Tiger Conservation Programme”. Here we support the local population by finding income opportunities that are not at the expense of the tiger. Groups of women are learning the traditions of weaving, stitching, and the cultivation of mushrooms as well as small domestic livestock husbandry. Young men, who would normally earn their living as cattle shepherds in the National Park, are being trained as technicians, mechanics or tourist guides.

Furthermore, a major focus of the project is the development of alternatives for firewood extraction and grazing within the National Park. Small biogas plants are supported for pastoralists, more efficient ovens are being installed, and the rearing of cattle in a shed on private pastures outside of the protected area is supported. The reforestation of community forests as a buffer between the protected area and the villages, as well as the restructuring of gardens into agroforestry, is another part of the programme.

With these measures, we are working to reduce the exploitation of the tiger’s habitat step-by-step, as well as indicating directions out of poverty.

Our project activities

  • Development of nurseries for forage crops for cattle, as well as growing forage crops in community areas, brownfields and in local gardens to install feeders for cattle.

  • Veterinary assistance to improve cattle breeds through artificial insemination. These cattle will produce more milk, but they are not allowed to be herded into the forest.

  • Development of tree nurseries for indigenous firewood trees, planting in community areas, and improvement of firewood production in local gardens.

  • Training of families, who depend on firewood, in the construction of energy-efficient ovens and biogas plants.

  • Workshops for different target groups to introduce them to alternative opportunities for sustainable income development.

  • Training of disadvantaged groups in ten different professions to create sustainable income possibilities.

  • Development of a broad and target-group-specific education programme with the topic “Protection of the Tiger and its Habitat”.

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