How teas can protect tigers, rhinos and elephants
10th November 2015
Over the last three years Pukka and our fantastic customers have generously donated over £200,000 to WWF. John Barker, Head of WWF’s India & China Programmes, looks back at how this partnership has helped WWF protect the wildlife and communities living in the region known as the Terai Arc, which runs along the border between India and Nepal.
Pukka and WWF share a passion for conservation, as well as a common understanding of the vitally important relationship between people, nature and the wellbeing of our planet. Pukka has been supporting WWF’s ongoing work in the Eastern Himalayas, where we’re empowering local people to care for the precious forests and grasslands found in the region.
These unique areas are home to millions of people, incredibly rich in biodiversity, and provide vital habitat for iconic threatened species such as tigers, elephants and one-horned rhinoceros.
Through the funding from Pukka, we’ve been able to help local communities become caretakers of the forest. One successful innovation has been the introduction of domestic biogas production, which is a way to provide clean fuel for their homes whilst reducing pressures on the forests close to where they live.
This new means of generating fuel has reduced the need for long and dangerous treks by women and children into the forest to collect firewood, and freed up valuable time for tree-planting and vegetable farming. Families using biogas at home are also less at risk from serious respiratory illnesses which are caused from the smoke of burning firewood.
Living close to wild animals is never easy and communities can come into conflict with wildlife when livestock are lost to tigers or crops are destroyed by elephants. But we’re helping people and wildlife to live in harmony whilst protecting farmers’ livelihoods.
This can be as simple as creating natural barriers between the forest and food crops by growing plants that animals find unpalatable. It’s a win-win situation – while chamomile and lemongrass deter wild animals from moving onto the farmland, they can be processed into aromatic essential oils and sold for a good price.
By working in partnership with WWF, Pukka’s support has helped to protect millions of hectares of precious habitat in the beautiful Eastern Himalayas.
The Terai Arc faces ongoing threats from habitat loss, illegal poaching and climate change. But our work in the region is making a real difference to communities and wildlife. Thank you to Pukka and their loyal customers for helping us continue this vital work for our planet.
By John Barker, Head of WWF’s India & China Programmes