Lesson Learnt Forum from Phu Luang Wild Elephant Guarding Volunteer
To develop the elephant-friendly network and improve volunteer welfare through the life insurance scheme
Phu Luang Wildlife Research Station, Mr. Jirachai Akachak (chief of Phu Luang Wildlife Research Station), Mr. Watchara Thammasorn (chief of the Royal-initiated Phu Luang wild elephant food plant restoration project) and the Human and Elephant Voices Network (HEVN) arranged a lesson learned forum from Phu Luang wild elephant guarding volunteer. The forum was funded by the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) under the research and development project for coexistence between people and wild elephants on the basis of social ecosystem integration. The event was set up at the Royal-initiated Phu Luang wild elephant food plant restoration project in Loei province, on July 2, 2022.
Volunteers of Phu Luang wild elephant guarding, 60 people from 6 villages, Ban Rai Suksan-Ban Sri Charoen, Nong Bua, Ban Nong Bua Noi and Ban Nam Koo, Ban Wang Mon, Ban Suan Po, Ban Nong Khon Kaen and Huai Sompoi together with wild elephant guarding of Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary and community leaders have joined the lesson learned forum. The strategies and processes for effectively monitoring and repelling wild elephants without violence were discussed from the standpoint of safe people and safe elephants.
In the current situation of the community around Phu Luang wildlife sanctuary, there are wild elephants living close to villages and agricultural areas. The wild elephant guarding volunteers employed a peaceful way to drive the elephants to the forest border. Based on the principle of safe people safe elephants, monitoring and repellent wild elephants were emphasized for the safety of life and property and reducing crop damage as well as crop alteration to reduce the attraction of wildlife. Tamarind, Chumphon’s yellow galangal, Hummingbird Tree, and Melientha suavis are some alternatives to typical agricultural crops such as sugarcane, palm oil, and cassava. In addition, life insurances were given to promote their efforts in monitoring and repelling wild elephants.