Daily Management Review

Biodiversity and Conservation is a way of Life in Nepal


04/13/2015


Nepal has made giant strides towards conserving its pristine ecological heritage by integrating local communities in its conservation efforts. For the local communities, it is not about just biodiversity and ecological well-being, it is more ingrained than that. For them, it is their way of life.



Biodiversity and Conservation is a way of Life in Nepal
Nepal is making conscientious efforts towards conserving its biodiversity and Chitwan, is at its forefront. Towards the beginning of this year, Nepal became the first country in the world to implement a new conservation tool, that was created by the World Wildlife Fund, known as the Conservation Assured | Tiger Standard (CA|TS).  

Leading The Way
CA|TS was created in order to effectively monitor and manage endangered species along with their habitats. The tool has been endorsed by various NGOs, such as Global Tiger Forum, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and it can be deployed in the field to monitor and measure so as to meet targets set by the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity.
 
With the evening sun casting its brilliant rays on the lush landscape of the Chitwan National Park, the tranquility is almost palpable. Interestingly Chitwan is a World Heritage Site, located just 200kms of Nepal capital, Kathmandu.
 
Having tasted success in Nepal, experts opine that the other 12 Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) should follow suit. As per the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2014-2020, in 2009 Nepal had just 121 tigers, but thanks to intense conservation efforts, its saw that number rise to 198 in 2013.
 
“A lot of our success was due to our close collaboration with local communities who depend on biodiversity conservation for their livelihoods,” says Sher Singh Thagunna, a development officer for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC)

Nepal is at the forefront of conservation efforts and is leading the way not only in the region but worldwide as well. It has created 20 protected zones which altogether cover 34, 000 square kilometers, roughly 23% of its total landmass. Globally too, it ranks amongst the top 20 countries who have the highest percentage of protected land.

In fact, between 2002 to 2010, in just eight years, Nepal has added more than 6,000 square kilometers to its protected territories. These include areas covering more than 5600 hectares which surround its national parks and act as their buffer zones, one hunting reserve, 6 conservation areas, 10 national parks and 3 wildlife reserves.

As per the CBD, it is thanks to these efforts that Nepal’s unique ecosystem and its endangered species, such as one horned rhinoceros, have seen their numbers rise. For example, as per available census data, in 2006, there were only 354 one horned rhinoceroses, but in 2011 it saw that number rise to 534.

Conservation is a way of life
Joint collaborative efforts between the government and local communities have played a major role in the success of this conservation effort. For example, in 2006 the Government handed over the management of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area to the local management council. In the country’s history, this marked the very first time, since a protected area has been placed in the hands of the locals for its management.
“A lot of our success was due to our close collaboration with local communities who depend on biodiversity conservation for their livelihoods,” says Sher Singh Thagunna, a development officer for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC).

Thanks to efforts such as these, conservation is not reduced to just an effort by the local communities, it is in fact their way of life. Almost 3500 youth have been enlisted by the local communities for anti-poaching patrolling. Other initiatives saw the involvement of 2.2 million households manage 1.7 million hectares of forestland.

Even the country’s security forces are involved in fighting off the poachers. With the result that Nepal is actually bucking the global trend and defying a powerful $213 billion industry. In the last two years, not even a single incident of poaching has been reported.
 
References:
http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/04/nepal-a-trailblazer-in-biodiversity-conservation/







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