Local youths unite to curb wildlife crimes
A mass gathering of passionate youth and members of community-based anti-poaching units in Khata Corridor, Bardia to mark the fourth annual Community-Based Anti-Poaching Unit (CBAPU) Day.
Nepal witnessed a mass gathering comprising 5,000 passionate youth and members of community-based anti-poaching units in Khata Corridor, Bardia to mark the fourth annual Community-Based Anti-Poaching Unit (CBAPU) Day on 10 March 2013. The event was supported by WWF Nepal under the Government of Nepal’s Terai Arc Landscape Program.
One thing that unites the youth of the landscape is biodiversity conservation; through the anti-poaching units, the youth have come together on a voluntary basis to help protect their forests from illegal logging, poaching and wildlife crimes.
“Since the establishment of CBAPU, the involvement of communities in curbing illegal wildlife crime has been increasing with each passing day,” stated Mr. Hari Ram Tharu, Chairperson of a Community Based Anti-Poaching Unit. “It is now time that the government of Nepal recognizes our effort and declare March 10 as a National Day,” he added.
The event also saw the active participation of government authorities, representatives from diplomatic mission and conservation partners.
Secretary of the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Dr. Krishna Chandra Paudel said, “It is very encouraging to see the seamless efforts of the local communities in combatting wildlife crime. This is an indication that together we will be able to achieve zero poaching of our flagship species in Nepal.”
Speaking at the program, Dr. Ghana S Gurung, Conservation Program Director of WWF Nepal said, "Conservation and addressing the threats towards the same requires strong ownership and leadership starting with the grassroots level. WWF Nepal is proud to have joined hands with the local communities and youth in helping protect the natural heritage of Nepal.”
At the event, the chief guest of the program Dr. Krishna Chandra Paudel, Secretary of Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, felicitated WWF Nepal for continuously supporting the Government of Nepal’s Terai Arc Landscape program particularly with regard to biodiversity conservation in Bardia National Park.
Similarly, other key personalities from various walks of life, including Mr. Shiv Raj Bhatta, Deputy Director of Terai Arc Landscape Program-WWF Nepal and Dr. Shant Raj Jnawali, Coordinator of Biodiversity for Hariyo Ban Program-WWF Nepal were felicitated for their contribution in biodiversity conservation in Bardia National Park.
Special guests at the event, Mr. Rajesh Hamal, Nepal’s leading cinema artist and WWF’s Goodwill Ambassador, and Ms. Shristi Shrestha, Miss Nepal 2012 and WWF’s Young Conservation Ambassador, expressed their individual support to end wildlife crimes and called upon individuals and organizations alike to take proactive steps to curb this biggest threat to wildlife.