KATHMANDU, FEB 07 - Conservationists from across the world have once again applauded the determined efforts of Nepal to protect rare wildlife species, including tigers, that are under global threat to rampant poaching and illegal trade.
On the concluding day of a five-day zero poaching symposium held on Friday, Chitwan National Park(CNP), the country’s most successful protected area in conserving Royal Bengal tiger and one-horned rhino, was declared the first global site to be accredited as Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS). The standard is a voluntary, independent scheme for any site involved in tiger conservation and is based on around 17 elements with associated minimum standards and criteria for effective management of tiger reserves.
The CNP was awarded with the first ever global tiger habitat for its excellence in tiger site conservation and protection. “Despite the increasing threats to tiger conservation, the unprecedented efforts from all the concerned authorities and partners led to the success in its conservation inside CNP and other protected areas,” said Kamal Jung Kunwar, chief conservation officer at the national park, which is home to around 120 of the total 198 tigers in the country.
While the number of rare wildlife species continues to dwindle, Nepal’s role in wildlife conservation has gained international recognition. Better coordination among the authorities concerned and conservation partners, strong and effective law enforcement networks, engagement of local communities and role of security forces in curbing illegal wildlife trade both at national and regional level led to success, according to Nepali authorities.
Nepal successfully celebrated zero poaching years in 2011 and 2013, which meant not a single tiger or rhino was killed during that period.
Similarly, the tiger census in 2013 recorded an increase of around 63 percent in tiger population, putting the total at 198. Likewise, according to 2011 count, there are 534 rhinos in the country.
“Our achievements in wildlife conservation led us to mark the zero poaching years,” said Tika Ram Adhikari, director general at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.
Thirteen tiger-range countries participated the zero poaching symposium to discuss ways to improve tiger habitats, measures to tackle illegal wildlife trade and poaching. Representatives from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Russia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, India, Bhutan and Lao PDR attended the event.
Source: The Kathmandu Post