Project update: Fuelling change in Karnataka

We're delighted to share that a huge milestone has been reached through our work in Karnataka which aims to address human-elephant conflict and improve the livelihoods of villagers.

This project set out to distribute Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) cookstoves to villagers with the aim of addressing the problem of human-wildlife conflict in Karnataka. Through our support, over 2,000 families have received cookstoves under the leadership of Sanjay Gubbi, a scientist and leading conservationist at the Nature Conservation Foundation.

Reaching and encouraging 2,000 families to switch to LPG cookstoves as a firewood alternative to help forest-based communities reduce their dependence on forest-derived resources is an extremely successful part of our community-based initiatives, which have positively impacted the lives of almost 8,000 people within the area.

Using LPG cookstoves has resulted in cleaner air inside their homes, has enabled women of to have more time to work and hence increase their income, and provided an overall improvement to their lifestyles. The use of these cookstoves also reduces human-wildlife conflict by avoiding interaction with wildlife, and protects precious nesting and fodder resources for animals by leaving forest ecosystems intact.

Not only this but the LPG cookstoves will also result in a decrease of firewood consumption of up to 5,000 tonnes annually, conserving up to 19 various species of trees routinely used for firewood.

Why is this project so important?

Home to 22% of India’s elephants, 18% of its tigers and 14% of its leopards, the state of Karnataka is a haven for wildlife. Within the state, the dense forests of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and Malai Mahadeshwara Hills are vital conservation areas and home to dhole, sambar, chital and four-horned antelope, as well as elephants and leopards. Unfortunately, these forests have been degraded by livestock grazing and firewood-gathering, meaning less food is available for herbivorous species.

The communities that live on the forest fringes depend on the trees for firewood. But gathering this firewood risks dangerous encounters with wildlife. And, as well as damaging the forests, the wood burns inefficiently, making cooking a slow, laborious process and causing lung problems for the women labouring over the stoves.

Find out more about our work in Karnataka here.

This achievement would not have been possible without your generous support for our work, thank you!

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