WWF is the world’s leading independent conservation organization originated from Switzerland in 1961 and currently running in more than 100 countries across 6 continents. The program started from conservation of wildlife to broader concept of building future where humans can live in harmony with nature. WWF has created 1,480 ecoregions that categorize the world into its natural ecosystems. Nepal with Bhutan, northeast India, southeast Tibet and northern Myanmar, falls under the Eastern Himalaya region housing the threatened species Snow Leopards, Bengal Tigers and One-horned Rhinos.
It was in 1967, WWF initiated WWF Nepal with a rhino conservation program in Chitwan. To keep up with the evolving face of conservation and environmental movement, WWF Nepal’s focus progressed from its localized efforts in conservation of single species in 1960s, integrated conservation and development approach in 1990s, to a new horizon of landscape level conservation encompassing national, regional and global scales of complexity in early 2000s.
WWF's Priorities: People and Communities
The priority of WWF's support for Nepal's conservation effort has changed with the shift in Government of Nepal's policy for biodiversity conservation. In early years the focus was on research and conservation of species conservation under strict law enforcement practices. There has been gradual change with the adoption of a more conciliatory approach and social mobilization for the participatory involvement of local people for conservation.
Over the years, support has been centered on integrating conservation and community development with an attempt to address the issues of livelihoods of local people living near protected areas. The aim is to win the support and stewardship of locals living in the fringe areas in wildlife conservation. Our focus advanced to a landscape approach in conservation by building partnerships with donors, stakeholders, interest groups, and local people.
WWF-Nepal envisions a prosperous Nepal with a society possessing an ethic of stewardship and responsibility towards nature.
By 2050 Nepal will have:
- Conserved biodiversity and the natural processes that sustain it in the Global 200 Ecoregions within Nepal.
- Established social and economic development patterns that assure the sustainable and equitable provision of natural goods and services, improving livelihoods and quality.
- Eliminated or mitigated critical threats to species, habitats, and ecological processes that derive from climate change, over exploitation of resources, unsustainable consumption, and pollution.
WWF-Nepal’s Mission is to stop the degradation of Nepal’s natural environment, and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature by:
- Conserving biological diversity
- Ensuring the sustainable use of renewable natural resources
- Reducing pollution and wasteful consumption
- Securing sustainable livelihoods
By 2015 WWF Nepal shall conserve at least 3 priority landscapes within the Global 200 Ecoregions by:
- Reducing threats to species, habitat and ecological processes
- Improving the livelihoods of local people