Nepal expands critical tiger habitat

The Government of Nepal announced today an expansion of Bardia National Park in the Terai Arc Landscape by 900 sq km, which will increase critical habitat for tigers.

WWF welcomes the announcement, which was made at the inaugural session of the Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal also stated that the government would establish a National Tiger Conservation Authority as well as a Wildlife Crime Control Committee saying, “The solutions will be area specific, but the future of conservation will depend upon how we act now and how we make tiger conservation and overall biodiversity much more valuable to the livelihoods of local communities.”

“This is indeed a great conservation initiative, which will certainly help in curbing illegal wildlife trade and poaching in Nepal,” said Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal. “We are confident that by embracing innovative conservation strategies Nepal will succeed in doubling its number of endangered tigers.”

Earlier this year the first ever nation-wide estimate of the tiger population revealed the presence of 121 adult tigers in the wild within four protected areas of Nepal. In order to ensure that these tiger numbers remain stable and start to increase, WWF and its partners called on the government to increase anti-poaching activities and habitat protection.

“In making these commitments at a global forum before the 12 other tiger range countries, the Government of Nepal has set an important precedent for others to follow,” said Mike Baltzer, Leader of WWF’s Tiger Initiative. “The next three days of the workshop are vital as countries and tiger experts band together to create a game-changing plan to save tigers in the wild.”

The Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop is the first in a series of political negotiation meetings occurring throughout the year and leading up to a final Heads of State Tiger Summit in September 2010, which is the Year of the Tiger.

The workshop is hosted by the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal, co-organized and co-sponsored by the CITES Secretariat, Global Tiger Forum, Global Tiger Initiative, Save The Tiger Fund, World Bank.



Cabinet to meet at Everest Base Camp

The government is preparing to hold a cabinet meeting at the base camp of Mount Everest next month in order to draw attention of the world towards the impact of climate change, a cabinet minister said.

According to forest minister Deepak Bohara, the cabinet members will be flown to Everest Base Camp by a helicopter. The agenda of the meeting will also be issues of climate change.

The objective of the meeting at Everest Base Camp is to draw world’s attention towards the impact of climate change in the Himalayas, minister Bohara said. We will discuss various ways to mitigate the impact of climate change using our resources.

The meeting at EBC will be organised before the conference on Climate Change in the Himalayas at Copenhagen to be organised on the occasion of International Mountain Day on December 11.

Last week Maldives’ cabinet had met underwater for a similar cause.

Global Tiger Workshop Kicks off; PM anounces strategies to preserve tiger

Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop 2009, a first of its kind event organised to chart out strategies to preserve Tiger, has kicked off, Tuesday.

(from left) Vice Minister for Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand Pimuk Simaroj, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Deepak Bohara at the inaugural ceremony of the Global Tiger Workshop in Kathmandu, Tuesday, Oct 27 09.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal inaugurated the four-day workshop amid a function in Kathmandu, this morning.

Some 250 scientists, tiger experts, policy makers, conservationists and government officials from 20 countries, including India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, China, are participating in the workshop.

Addressing the workshop, PM Nepal expressed Nepal’s commitment towards the preservation of tigers and announced some key strategies Nepal will adopt for the same.

“I would like to reiterate that the Government of Nepal is firmly committed to the cause of conservation of this unique species and its habitat,” PM Nepal said. “We are now in the process of having high level mechanisms for National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Crime Control Coordination Committee.”

PM Nepal also sought international cooperation to curb trans-border poaching of tiger parts.

Nepal has set an ambitious target of increasing the tiger population to 250 by the next ten years. At present there are 120 adult tigers in Nepal.

In the world, the tiger population in the wild is 3,500. It was about 7,000 in 2000. Besides, tiger is also reared in controlled situation in countries like China, Vietnam and Thailand. Whether tigers should be reared in controlled situation or not will also be discussed in the workshop.

Nepal government is also planning to double the size of Bardiya National Park, one of the chief tiger habitats, by annexing some 900 sq. km of forest area in a bid to preserve tiger along with other wild animals.

The workshop will conclude Friday issuing a Kathmandu declaration which includes various strategies and policies to increase the tiger population.

Bardiya National Park to be doubled in size

The government is preparing to expand the area of Bardiya National Park (BNP) to double its present size by annexing 898 sq. km of forest area along the east-west highway in Dang, Nagarik Daily reported.

The area of the National Park at present is 968 sq. km.


Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal will officially announce the expansion of BNP at the inaugural function of Global Tiger Workshop, slated to start from Tuesday in Kathmandu.

The expansion of the National Park is vital for the conservation of Tigers as the area proposed to be annexed is considered an important area for habitat and food for tigers, according to wildlife experts. BNP is home to many important wildlife inlcuding the rare one-horned Rhino, Tigers and elephants.

Erstwhile Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had unveiled plans to expand BNP as a ‘gift to the earth’ in 2000. However, the plan had not materialised due to armed conflict in the country.

Of the area to be annexed 549 sq. km will be forest area, while 345 sq. km will be buffer zone. Some 50 additional staff including army personnel for security will be required for the upkeeping of the additional area. It will also include 13 VDCs of Dang district.

The santuary was established in 1976 with the name ‘Karnali Wildlife Conservation’. It was renamed as ‘Bardiya Wildlife Conservation’ in 1982 and converted to a National Park in 1998.

Some 1600 families were displaced from an important Rhino habitat Babai valley while expanding the the National Park.

4600 programs worldwide to mark International Day of Climate Change Action

To mark the International Day of Climate Change Action and to raise awareness to lower carbon dioxide emissions below 350 parts per million (ppm), more than 4600 events are going to be organized globally in 171 countries. Organizing a program in the capital Friday, WWF informed about the various programs that will be organized in different parts of Nepal to mark the event.

Everest “memento” for Obama to show climate change impact

Nepal’s sherpa community is sending a piece of rock from Mount Everest to U.S. President Barack Obama to underscore the impact of global warming on the Himalayas.

Environmental group WWF said Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal had promised to carry the “memento” and give it to Obama when world leaders meet in New York next week as “a symbol of the melting Himalayas in the wake of climate change.”

Heads of state will attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting as well as hold talks on climate change in New York.

The rock was collected from the 8,850 meter (29,035 feet) Mount Everest by Apa Sherpa, who climbed the mountain for a record 19th time in May.

Sherpas, mainly living in Nepal’s Solukhumbhu district, home to the world’s tallest peak, are known for their climbing skills.

A WWF-Nepal statement said more than 200,000 youth had also signed a petition to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanding action on global warming ahead of crucial climate talks in Copenhagen.

Negotiations on an accord to replace the Kyoto Protocol are scheduled to conclude at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in the Danish capital in December.

Experts say mountainous Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 tallest peaks, including Mount Everest, is vulnerable to climate change despite being responsible for only 0.025 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, among the world’s lowest.

Average global temperatures are rising faster in the Himalayas compared to most other parts of the world, according to the Kathmandu-based International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).


Nepal and Climate Change

Nepal is being affected by the climate change because of the GHG emissions it did not emit nonetheless Nepal itself has a scope of creating GHG emissions. Dr. Kamal Raj Dhungel

Least developed countries are the ultimate bearer of the likely impact of climate change albeit they are the less emitter in the world. They are more at risk from climate change because of their dependence on agriculture, especially the subsistence sort with poor irrigation. Climate variability has a more severe impact on the economies in which agriculture is a large share of GDP. Developed as well as few newly emerging developing economies are the major pollutants. They are emitting a large amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) as they consume unlimited quantity of fossil fuel to sustain their economic growth rate and maintain the their living standard thus giving birth to global warming. Scientists have proved that GHG emission is the sole agent of global warming and climate change. The intensity of the impact of global warming and climate change is more sensitive to the less emitting countries like Nepal.