2nd National Conservation Day Celebrated!
“To live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy…”
In memory of Nepal’s Conservation Heroes, the second National Conservation Day was celebrated with the theme “Save the Wild Tiger and save so much more” on 23 September 2010 amidst a function organized at Nepal Academy Hall in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Chief Guest of the event was Constituent Assembly Chairman, Rt. Hon’ble Subash Chandra Nemwang.
Speaking at the event, Nemwang stated that awareness amongst people was very essential for the conservation of forests and wildlife, which witnessed rapid decline in recent times. He said that the concerned authorities and the general people need to work hand in hand for the preservation of endangered species such as tigers, crocodiles and rhinos.
Mr. Harihar Sigdel, Director of Department of Forest and Conservation, announced that Bharandabhar Panchase, Madani, Lal Jhadi, Basanta and Khata Forest Areas were now identified as important conservation forests according to the Forest Act.
Similarly, Mr. Shyam Bajimaya, a Conservation Expert, lauded the role of Government of Nepal for its commitment towards conservation by highlighting the trans-national cooperation with the governments of India and Nepal in conserving biodiversity and mitigating the tiger crisis.
Various awards were presented during the program to recognize and felicitate individuals and organizations for their contribution in conservation in Nepal. Mr. Birendra Bahadur Shah, the first in-charge of the wildlife section within the Department of Forests, and Mr. Biswa Nath Upreti, the first Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, received Lifetime Achievement Awards. Mr. Jim Ottaway was felicitated with the International Friend of Conservation Award. Namuna English School, Anal Jyoti Boarding School, and Rato Bangla School received first, second and third prizes respectively for Best Herbal Profile preparation, a project initiated by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and Private and Boarding Schools’ Organisation of Nepal (PABSON). Ms. Renu Shah, Mr. Hirulal Dangaura, Mr. Rupak Maharjan, Mr. Bhakta B Raskoti, and Mr. Kishore C Gautam received the Abraham Conservation Awards in the Individual category while Jatayu Restaurant Manangement Committees of Nawalparasi and Rupandehi received the Abraham Conservation Awards in the Organisation category. Mr. Umid Baghchand from BBC, Dhangadhi, and Mr. Ramesh Prasad Bhusal from The Himalayan Times received the WWF Media in Conservation Awards while Mr. Anand Chaudhary received the Matthew Preece and Yeshi Choden Lama Young Conservation Leader Award.
Scholarship recipients for this year included Mr. Nabin Raja Budhathoki from Ramechaap who received Chandra Gurung Memorial Scholarship for pursuing Masters Degree in Environmental Management in Pokhara University; Ms. Dechen Dolma Ichang Gurung from Mustang who received Mingma Sherpa Memorial Scholarship to pursue a Technical Certificate Level (TCL) in Forestry at the Institute of Forestry (IOF), Pokhara Campus; Mr Bijaya Praja from Mustang who received Nepal Conservation Memorial Scholarship, established by WWF Nepal, to pursue a Technical Certificate Level (TCL) in Forestry at the Institute of Forestry (IOF), Hetauda Campus; and Ms. Rebecca Gurung and Mr. Manoj Kumar Joshi who both received Jatayu Scholarships established by Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN).
The program concluded with a play “Stripes of Wild: A Tiger’s Call for Action” presented by Earth-Beat Nepali Theatre, in keeping with the theme of the day and the fact that the year 2010 is being celebrated internationally as the Year of the Tiger. There are as few as 3,200 tigers surviving in the world’s forests; with tigers being the umbrella species and indicator of a healthy ecosystem, their conservation is of high significance today. In November 2010, heads of governments for 13 tiger range countries, including Nepal, will be attending the Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. The summit is seen as crucial to garner necessary support and resources to save the wild tiger.
National Conservation Day is led by a Conservation Consortium comprising WWF Nepal, Bird Conservation Nepal, Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness, The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, IUCN–The World Conservation Union, Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists, National Trust for Nature Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Nepal, and The Mountain Institute and Wildlife Watch Group under the leadership of the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal.