Registered Charity Number: 1064641
LifeForce Charitable Trust currently focusses on tiger conservation in India. However, trying to halt and reverse the decline of tigers, or any other species, without addressing our other environmental problems is of limited value or a waste of time, comparable to trying to save a leaf on a tree while the trunk is being sawn through. While some NGO's efforts toward saving tigers from extinction focus on moral, aesthetic and/or sentimental reasons as justification for this work there is another very important reason not always mentioned in conservation literature:
The Earth’s remaining forests are essential elements in global life-support systems on which all species, including humans, depend. The health of these forests is indicated by the food web they sustain. Tigers represent the apex of (and therefore ‘complete’, healthy or whole) food webs for most of the forests of India.
Therefore, to conserve the tiger is to conserve forest ecosystems which contribute to global life-support systems (as with jaguars in South America, lions in Africa etc). Whilst exotic species might seem distant from our everyday needs, the healthy maintenance of remote ecosystems helps to ensure the maintenance of local ecosystems and hence our own future in terms of availability of clean air, fresh water and the viability of cultivation and animal husbandry.
The environmental crisis is the most dangerous situation in recorded history. Before addressing political systems that have allowed such a crisis to develop, we should all, for example, be using environmentally-friendly cleaning materials, eating organic food, composting, re-cycling and buying re-cycled products, saving energy and natural resources, banking and investing ethically and thereby meeting some of our personal responsibilities while setting examples for others, demonstrating our respect and care for nature, including tigers. Hence, via newsletters, Internet and public presentations LifeForce recommends practical actions by which individuals can make constructive contributions to the global environmental situation. Solutions to our problems as individuals, communities, nations and a planet, involve a re-evaluation of our personal and collective priorities and the current commercial, socio-economic and political systems.
LifeForce has contributed to direct protection of the forests by, for example, donating patrol vehicles (the reports on the website record how valuable these have been in arresting poachers and gangs of timber thieves (preventing more trees being cut and confiscating timber already felled)). Protection has also been enhanced by improving the welfare and efficiency of Forest Guards by supplementing their equipment requirements e.g. providing them with torches, water flasks, mosquito nets, firebeaters etc.. One simple but significant and heartening piece of feedback received by LifeForce was that incidences of malaria had noticeably decreased after the distribution of free mosquito nets to Forest Guards. LifeForce also helps supply alternative sources of income and energy for tribal people (thereby removing their need to go into the forest) and has provided bio-gas generators, tube wells, seeds for winter crops, sewing machines and an employment scheme in which they are trained in new skills and then found employment with local employers.
Hence, the various points made above in summary justify LifeForce's principle that 'tiger conservation is people conservation'.
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