Nepal and India stresses on mutual cooperation on biodiversity conservation
The third regional trans-boundary meeting held in Kathmandu on 21 February 2013, gathered senior Forestry Officials from Nepal and Sikkim, India, who mutually agreed on some significant steps towards conserving biodiversity of the border regions extended between the state of Sikkim in India and the Kanchenjunga region in Nepal.
With an aim to further strengthen the trans- boundary cooperation, authorities of the bilateral meeting agreed to identify potential area for a bi-national peace park and proceed for its official declaration. At the meeting, authorities also agreed to initiate a collaborative research and monitoring of snow leopards and their prey base and strengthen and manage wildlife corridors and connectivity in the region.
“A bilateral meeting like this is very instrumental in fostering wildlife and biodiversity conservation and curbing wildlife trade in the border region” said Mr. Mohan Koirala, Director of the Eastern Regional Forest Directorate of Nepal. “From this meeting we will also explore a way out to fortify eco-tourism that would provide the locals with some income generation activities since both regions have a huge tourism potential” Koirala added.
“The Indian side of Sikkim and Nepal share some of the most astonishing and bewildering biodiversity,” said Mr. Pradeep Kumar, Chief Wildlife Warden, Forests, Environment and Wildlife Management Department of Sikkim. “This trans boundary meeting will be a major step in conserving biodiversity as well as sharing some of the best practices in conservation between the two countries which are culturally similar” Mr. Kumar added.
At a meeting, a publication on “Joint Monitoring at the Indo-Nepal Border – In the Sacred Himalayan Landscape” published jointly by WWF Nepal and WWF India was launched. WWF Nepal provided financial and technical assistance to organize the bilateral meeting.