Conservation 2011: Forests

Plant holiday in Nepal

The Government of Nepal has declared a ‘plant holiday’ in line with the UN Year of Forests. This aims to achieve zero forest encroachment and effective management of isolated forests over the next three years. A complete stop to tree felling plus new protected areas are proposed in the Churiya range, the southern-most range of hills in Nepal lying between the plains of the Terai and the mountain regions of the Himalayas, comprising more than 28% of the total area of the Terai Arc Lanscape, or 23,199 km2. The Churiya forests perform a vital economic and ecological function as the watersheds for the Terai feeding a rich habitat for wildlife, and an important source for recharging ground water that supports agricultural production and livelihoods of numerous communities.

Russian province exceeds protected area target

WWF has recognized the actions of Governor Oleg Kozhemyako of Amurskye Province in Russia’s far east with a Gift to the Earth for having reached and exceeded a target set in 2002 which aimed to place 10 per cent of the province under protected area (PA) management. More than two million ha of new PAs have been created, taking total PA cover to 11,3 per cent, and securing priority forests which are also habitat for 1800 plant species, 320 birds (including the Japanese crane and white stork), and 67 mammals, including a unique migratory population of roe deer – at 40,000 animals the last remaining large population on Earth. Moreover, following protection of the last Korean pine and broadleaf forests Amur tigers are returning to their former habitat.

Forest conservation advance in DR Congo

Building on the commitment to achieve 15 per cent fully representative protected area (PA) cover announced by the DRC government at CBD COP 9 in Germany in 2008, a decree was released in January announcing the new 550,000 ha Ngiri Triangle Nature Reserve. This new PA, developed in consultation with local and indigenous communities, is especially important for migratory birds and includes vital wetlands as well as forest, and is within a priority transboundary conservation complex including Lac Télé and Lac Tumba.

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