My Tiger – My Community
(Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area, Laos)

The survival of the Indochinese tiger, thought by many to be the subspecies most closely linked to the original ancestor of all tigers, is important in ensuring the viability of all other tiger species.  Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area (NEPL NPA) in Laos is home to the most viable population of tigers in all of mainland Southeast Asia. This protected area represents one of the few remaining areas in Laos large enough to serve as a breeding sanctuary for tigers, but increased human activity, especially poaching and hunting, endangers the future of this sanctuary.

To address the behaviors threatening Indochinese tiger survival, PCI Media Impact has partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Laos Country Program in the NEPL NPA, and surrounding communities to launch My Tiger-My Community, a Communications for Change campaign to support the conservation of Indochinese tigers and reduce the anthropogenic threats to their survival.  This partnership is driving the development and implementation of an innovative, Entertainment-Education, Communications for Development program to protect the remaining tigers and their habitat.

The protection of the Indochinese tiger, an umbrella subspecies in NEPL NPA, would also encourage the protection of the natural resources, plants, animals, and water upon which the tigers depend. To protect these tigers and natural resources, human behaviors that threaten their existence must be addressed.  Poaching for trade, diminishing quantities of prey due to hunting, and various agricultural and animal husbandry practices severely threaten the NEPL NPA’s population of Indochinese tigers.

WCS-Laos has been working with NEPL NPA since 2003 to monitor large mammal populations in the area, most especially tigers and their prey.  This research has traditionally centered on monitoring population densities of tigers and their prey, and has demonstrated that without increasing the population size of tiger’s prey, the goal of increasing tiger populations by 50% by 2015 will not be achieved.

My Tiger – My Community focuses primarily on the 100,000 residents in the two provinces surrounding NEPL NPA (Luang Prabang and Huaphanh), with special focus on the 35,000 residents that live in the immediate vicinity of the protected area, whose subsistence agriculture and hunting practices directly impact the tiger’s habitat.

The My Tiger – My Community program:

  • Creates and mobilizes a local coalition, and builds capacity to address tiger and habitat conservation issues
  • Promotes knowledge, attitude and behavior change through a 20-episode, locally produced, Entertainment-Education Serial Radio Drama
  • Promotes interactive engagement with local populations through complementary Interactive Radio Magazine/Call-In Shows that support each episode of the drama. These shows are broadcast locally, and  ‘turn up the volume’ on the issues, generating inter-personal communication amongst target audiences, allowing them to first consider and then validate the desired behavior changes.
  • Mobilizes local communities to action through Community Mobilization Campaigns, using social marketing methods and tools that complement the agenda and issues being promoted on the radio.

 

 

Wildlife Conservation Society
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Lao National Radio

An integrated, landscape-wide monitoring and evaluation (M/E) plan, including post-KAP surveys is being carried out. This rigorous M/E and Learning Strategy is being implemented with input from the sub-national coalition and includes both qualitative and quantitative assessment tools, pre- and post-survey questionnaires for KAP assessment, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and registries of audience participation in the radio show and community events.

The objectives for My Tiger-My Community are as follows:

  • Develop the capacity of WCS and local organizations in Laos to better use communications to effectively enhance community protection activities and motivate long-term social change in favor of Indochinese tigers;
  • Build a community of coalitions and well-informed constituencies that understand and support protection of the Indochinese tigers; and,
  • Positively change community knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to the Indochinese tiger.

The monitoring and evaluation plan will measure for impact along the following areas, among other:

  • Increased appreciation of the Indochinese tiger as well as the importance of the region’s overall biodiversity and natural resources;
  • Increased awareness of links between environmental degradation, community activities of the public and the protection of the Indochinese tiger;
  • Increased willingness of individuals to take action on matters related to biodiversity conservation, sustainable land management and protection of tigers; and,
  • Increased community action and the number of organizations supporting protection efforts – of both habitats and the Indochinese tigers directly.

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