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  project name ~ Grassland biodiversity conservation and Nomadic Hunting Community Empowerment

category ~ Community Empowerment




  Project Name


Grassland biodiversity conservation and Nomadic Hunting Community Empowerment



Samvedana (Empathy)



Community Empowerment







  Budget Approved


Rs 774000


  Year Approved







1   2   3        

  Chapter Coordinators


Lalit Deshmukh







meeting with police to convey about ban on alcohol





Grasslands are the most neglected habitat in India’s conservation history. Conservation in India is mostly roam around forested areas and big mammals like Tiger. Grasslands are often considered as ‘west land’ and allotted for industrial projects or encroachments for agriculture by government. Report of ‘Task force grasslands and deserts’ constituted under planning commission government of India highlighted the ecological importance of grasslands (see box 1)

Western Vidarbha* region of Maharashtra is known for its biodiversity rich grasslands. Sizable presence of grassland indicator species like Great Indian bustard, lesser florican, Black buck and Chinkara is the evidence of rich grassland habitats.

On the other hand western Vidarbha has a considerable population of traditional hunting tribe known as ‘Phasepardhi’. This tribe has an important traditional knowledge about grassland biodiversity. Hunting of wild animals is banned after the enactment of ‘Wild life (Protection) act 1972. Now the livelihood of Phasepardhi tribes is in crisis and they are trying hard to identify new livelihood niche. May be slowly; but Phasepardhi tribes is also looking for other livelihood options because of decline of wild animals due to excessive use of pesticides, newly started hunting by other communities and other environmental reason. (Ref: Peoples biodiversity registered prepared by Samvedana in 2002-03)

Samvedana is working with Phasepardhi and other nomadic tribes to help them to solve their social issues. We are acting as catalyst between social issues of hunting tribes and wildlife conservation. As a result of Samvedana’s advocacy efforts ‘Steering committee on forest and wild life’ of planning commission government of India is recommended to provide assistance for their rehabilitation





These are planned deliverables: or "Project outcome" • Participatory documentation of grassland biodiversity in Akola and Washim districts will be done • Ecologically important records about lesser florican’s breeding and habitat will be documented • Actual in-situ conservation efforts of lesser florican will implemented • Assistance to traditional hunting tribe will create positive impacts grassland biodiversity as hunting pressure will be decline • Model of optional livelihood for hunting tribe will be emerged, promoted and exhibited • A first ever, model of community conservation of grassland biodiversity will be emerged





1. To prepare ‘Peoples biodiversity register’ (PBR) of grassland species of Akola and Washim districts. 2. To experiment actual in-situ conservation efforts for lesser florican 3. To assist traditional hunting tribes (Phasepardhi) for identifying optional livelihoods 4. Campaign to create awareness about sustainable use and conservation of grasslands



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