India — Public awareness and local community support for prevention are the first line of defence in the fight against forest fires at Nagarahole National Park.
Wildlife First conducted 125 awareness camps on forest fire prevention in January and February. These were held around the borders of Nagarahole National Park in Kodagu district. As many as 23,000 students and 1,100 teachers residing around the national park and other forest areas participated, said Praveen Bhargav, trustee, Wildlife First.
He said two public rallies were organised, including one at Madikeri.. During the course of the campaign, schoolchildren were told about the need to conserve forests and wildlife. Key facts that all forest fires are man-made and cause irreversible damage to wildlife and the eco-system were highlighted, Mr. Bhargav said.
More than 30,000 pamphlets in Kannada were distributed with an appeal to alert the Forest Department in case of fire. Wildlife First is planning to put out radio and TV spots on AIR Madikeri Station.