Decision : CONF 205 V.122-125
Kaziranga National Park (India)
V.122 The Bureau noted that IUCN informed the Centre that a severe shortage of funds is impeding the anti-poaching operations and affecting the management of Kaziranga National Park. It is estimated that more than 200 rhinos have been poached and 60 poachers have been killed in the Park in the last decade. More resources are needed to improve the protection of the Park. However, it has been reported that there have been problems with designated funding provided to the Regional Government actually reaching the Park. Consequently, few of the patrol vehicles are in running condition and boats have not been repaired for a long time.
V.123 It has also been reported that during the winter, the local people enter the Park for community fishing, which is sometimes associated with illegal activities, such as stealing rifles from forest guards and damaging river boats. Fishing inside the Kaziranga National Park has now been banned. The State Party has issued a prohibition order to ban fishing from the wetlands of the National Park and has stated that stern action will be initiated against any violation. The Park presently has more than 1500 endangered one-horn rhinoceros, which are subject to poaching.
V.124 IUCN has also received reports of large herds of elephants going on the rampage in areas in and around Kaziranga National Park. In June 2000, elephants killed more than 15 people in the Golaghat District of Assam. Numaligarh is the location of a new oil refinery and according to experts this has been one of the major reasons for the increased intensity of animal/people conflicts. It has been estimated that rampaging elephants have killed at least 300 people in Assam, in the last three years. Assam Wildlife authorities have urged the Central Government to allow them to capture the wild elephants to minimise damage. IUCN was concerned that the wildlife/people conflict may result in resentment towards the National Park.
V.125 The Bureau requested that, in order to enable the twenty-fifth extraordinary session of the Bureau to review the information and suggest appropriate measures, the State Party submit to the Centre, before 15 September 2001, a report on the major management issues of the site, particularly those related to financing of anti-poaching operations and minimising conflicts between elephant herds and human habitations.