Government of Nepal boosts its support for tiger conservation
Posted on 30 July 2011
Kathmandu, Nepal – The Government of Nepal has decided to provide an additional ten million rupees for tiger conservation in Nepal. The decision was taken at a meeting called today by Rt. Honorable Jhalanath Khanal, Prime Minister of Nepal, with the government agencies and conservation organisations, including WWF Nepal, working on tiger conservation to mark Global Tiger Day. At the meeting, the Prime Minister of Nepal was also briefed on the current status of tigers in the wild.Kathmandu, Nepal – The Government of Nepal has decided to provide an additional ten million rupees for tiger conservation in Nepal. The decision was taken at a meeting called today by Rt. Honorable Jhalanath Khanal, Prime Minister of Nepal, with the government agencies and conservation organisations, including WWF Nepal, working on tiger conservation to mark Global Tiger Day. At the meeting, the Prime Minister of Nepal was also briefed on the current status of tigers in the wild.
The National Tiger Conservation Committee (NTCC) meeting was called for the first time since the Prime Minister took up office; the NTCC was originally established under the chairmanship of ex-Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to combat tiger poaching and illegal trade at the national level.
Important decisions taken at the meeting included formulation of the new work plan of NTCC and strengthening strategies to curb illegal wildlife trade, use of scientific tools to aid tiger conservation, undertaking periodic review and update of the National Tiger Recovery Program, and establishment of a Tiger Conservation Cell within Nepal Police. The meeting also decided to expand the organizational structure of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.
In a separate event organized in Chitwan district in the Terai Arc Landscape-Nepal, representatives of political parties from the district, government line agencies, conservation partners, media, and community-based organizations discussed on tiger conservation measures to be taken in Chitwan National Park – the area that hosts the highest number of tigers in Nepal. At the event, political parties expressed their commitment for tiger conservation with key focus on habitat management, control over poaching and illegal trade, conservation of prey species, and establishment of a relief fund for victims of human-wildlife conflict.
Celebrations galore at Global Tiger Day
"I want to draw my baby tiger," beamed nine-year old Shaaravi as she gathered her drawing paper and crayons together. Shaaravi was amongst the 32 children who participated in the 'Draw a Tiger' art competition organized by WWF Nepal on the occasion of Global Tiger Day.
Besides the art competition, WWF Nepal also partnered with a leading supermarket in Kathmandu to distribute tiger fliers to customers as they checked out of the store. Proudly wearing her t-shirt that read 'TX2: Save Tigers Now', 32-year old Sunita employed at the supermarket remarked that this was the first time that she had been part of a social campaign and felt honored to help in her own way for tigers.
WWF Nepal also partnered with three television channels under live telecasts wherein the Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation discussed about the state of tigers in Nepal while Dr. Narendra Man Babu Pradhan, Conservation Biologist at WWF Nepal, spoke about Nepal's possibilities of doubling its number of wild tigers by 2022. Similarly, Dr. Ghana S. Gurung, Conservation Program Director at WWF Nepal, was invited as a guest in a popular live call-in program to discuss about Global Tiger Day and the steps WWF was taking for protecting tigers in Nepal.
Poaching and illegal wildlife trade poses immediate threats to tigers in Nepal. With the successful restoration of habitat and the presence of a good prey base for tigers, the only significant hurdle against tiger conservation in Nepal is poaching. Global Tiger Day was, in effect, celebrated with the theme, 'Zero Poaching', in order to draw the attention of policy makers, conservation agencies, civil society and the public at large towards the steps each constituency could take in helping protect tigers in Nepal.