The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the “Bagh Project”, which will be implemented by WildTeam, to protect the Bengal tiger.
Reducing wildlife trafficking; minimising human-wildlife conflict; enhancing communications, outreach, and gender engagement and expanding the knowledge base for wildlife conservation are some of the aims of the US$ 13 million Bagh Project, said a press release yesterday.
WildTeam, formerly known as the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh, was founded in 2003 by a group of passionate Bangladeshi nature lovers. Since 2008, WildTeam has worked predominantly in the Sundarbans mangrove forest ecosystem, home to the Bengal tiger.
Along with the Bangladesh Forest Department, WildTeam developed the Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan (2009-2017), providing a guideline for tiger conservation efforts in Bangladesh.
The organisation’s efforts in tiger conservation include empowering more than 350 village volunteers around the forest edge to save lives of humans, livestock, and tigers through Village Tiger Response Teams (VTRTs).
The Smithsonian Institution (SI) and Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) along with WildTeam will implement the four-year project, which will begin July next year.
The Bangladesh government and multiple stakeholders, including NGOs and international organisations, will be directly involved in order to achieve the project goals.
Prof Md Anwarul Islam, CEO of WildTeam, said USAID’s Bagh Project is the biggest project to date dedicated solely towards the protection of the Bengal tigers.
Since 1971, America through USAID has provided more than US$6 billion to Bangladesh in many assistance projects.