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.

Source:WWF

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. nepalnews.com/rh
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.
nepalnews.com