Youths protect Barandabhar Corridor against fire



Posted on 30 November 2012  | 
Youths protect Barandabhar forest against fire
Youths protect Barandabhar forest against fire
© Abdul Ansari / WWF NepalEnlarge
Barandabhar is an important biological corridor that connects Churiya with the Mahabharat range where endangered species such as tiger, rhinoceros and gaur are found. It also forms part of a link to Panchase Protection Forest and the Annapurna Conservation Area through the Seti river corridor, and to Manaslu Conservation Area through the Trishuli, Daraudi and Budhi Gandaki river corridors. Barandabhar corridor may also function as critical climate refugia and has important wetlands including Beeshhazari Lake, a Ramsar site. Yet this biologically rich corridor faces tremendous pressure from people, domestic animals, and infrastructure developments such as roads and transmission lines, with increased encroachment and habitat fragmentation. Another serious threat to Barandabhar is frequent and deliberate forest fire.

Although fire is used as a traditional tool for clearing and managing forest and agricultural land, lately the incidence of deliberate fires has imposed a serious threat to biodiversity and ecosystems. Annually for the three hot months of the summer season the corridor faces devastating loss from forest fire. Realizing the importance of this corridor, in April 2012 the Hariyo Ban Program provided a seven-day intensive training as well as firefighting tools and equipment to twenty-five local youths to contain and control forest fire. After the training, the youths were able to control fire in sixty different places in Barandabhar this summer. While in the past most locals did not report fires, this year they have become alert through awareness campaigns initiated around Tikauli Buffer Zone Community Forest (BZCF). They now report fire occurrences to this trained firefighting group by cellphone. Furthermore, in order to make this initiative functional Tikauli BZCF has established an endowment fund of fifty thousand Nepali rupees. This is used as needed for transportation, communication and patrolling by the firefighting group.

The District Forest Office and the National Park have appreciated the work of the firefighting group and have stressed the importance of replicating this in other vulnerable areas.

For further information:
Pallavi Dhakal
Communications Officer
Hariyo Ban Program, WWF Nepal

Disclaimer: The Hariyo Ban Program is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this website are the responsibility of WWF and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.
 
Youths protect Barandabhar forest against fire
Youths protect Barandabhar forest against fire
© Abdul Ansari / WWF Nepal Enlarge

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