7th National Conservation Day highlights snow leopards and Nepal’s conservation leaders
“The mountain ecosystem is under threat from the pervasive impacts of climate change,” stated Rt. Honorable Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, President of Nepal, who had graced the day’s celebrations. “It is heartening to see conservation leaders, who have been duly awarded for their contributions, take up biodiversity protection as their cause and I hope through this recognition they are further motivated to help protect Nepal’s natural riches including key species such as snow leopards and tigers.”
On this occasion, WWF Nepal felicitated one organization and five individuals for their exemplary contribution to biodiversity conservation in Nepal through the Abraham Conservation Awards, Matthew Preece & Yeshi Choden Lama Young Conservation Leader Award, WWF Media in Conservation Award and a Special Conservation Award.
WWF Nepal invites nominations for the awards each year via a national announcement made through mass media, and the final awardees are selected from the nominations received by an independent panel of judges comprising eminent personalities from the government, conservation, academic, social and private sectors. The award holds a citation and cash prize of NRs. 25,000 for individuals and NRs. 50,000 for organizations.
“While I am honored to receive this award, I must mention that all my efforts in conservation would be incomplete without the support of the local communities who have shown tremendous commitment towards protecting Nepal’s rich biodiversity,” stated Dr. Indra Prasad Sapkota, one of the awardees of the Abraham Conservation Awards. “It is all the more important to address the needs of the local communities, especially in the context of human-wildlife conflict which is one of our immediate challenges, whereby their ownership towards biodiversity conservation can be sustained.”
Similarly, four students were provided scholarships through WWF Nepal under the Chandra Gurung Memorial Scholarship, Jill Bowling Schlaepfer Memorial Scholarship and Jennifer Headley Memorial Scholarships to help them pursue higher education in forestry.
In an effort to highlight sarus crane conservation and build awareness on the key threats to the species, a special drama was presented by sixteen Eco Club students of Lumbini, a project site of WWF Nepal in partnership with Lumbini Development Trust.
“This year marks two decades of WWF Nepal’s office establishment – a period marked with some of the biggest conservation gains for Nepal thanks to the partnership between the government, conservation agencies and the local communities,” stated Mr. Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal. “Nepal also witnessed its biggest loss in conservation during this period and this day is a dedication to the lives of these conservation heroes who have always been a constant source of inspiration to the conservation community.”