Celebrating Global Tiger Day 2021
The event featured keynote addresses by the Honorable Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba; Former Prime Minister of Nepal Madhav Kumar Nepal; Former Minister of Forest Mr. Deepak Bohora; and Member Secretary of NTNC Mr. Sharad Adhikari, who put forth their remarks on the importance of tiger conservation, alongside dramatized performances by students representing Friends of Zoo on infrastructure development and the impact on tiger species.
Speaking at the event, Honorable Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba said “Nepal has been at the forefront of tiger conservation, and this upward trajectory needs to be given continuity. Issues of increasing human wildlife conflict and the impact of linear infrastructure must be addressed with proper mitigation measures in place.”
Likewise, His Excellency Evseev Viktor Viktorovich, Acting Ambassador of Russia to Nepal said, “From St. Petersburg in Russia where it all began, to Nepal as a range state, the collective actions of concerned stakeholders have been crucial in Nepal’s tiger success story.”
Building on these remarks, His Excellency Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Ambassador of India to Nepal thanked all 13 tiger range countries, particularly the Russian Federation for this incredible initiative to preserve and record further progress in tiger conservation. “This remarkable collaboration will always be the cornerstone of what countries can achieve when they commit to a common goal of doubling tiger populations by 2022”, he said.
This event was followed by a panel discussion on “Tiger Conservation and Infrastructure Development” represented by panelists, Dr. Deepak Kharal, Director General of DNPWC; Er. Arjun Jung Thapa, Director General of Department of Roads; and Dr. Shant Raj Jnawali, Conservationist, WWF Nepal. The event was moderated by Mr. Shiv Raj Bhatta, Head of Conservation Programs at WWF Nepal and focused on Tiger Conservation and Infrastructure Development. At the event, Chief Guest Dr. Pem Kandel, Secretary, Ministry of Forests and Environment launched the “Connecting Corridors: Terai Arc Landscape” publication published by WWF Nepal, outlining the conservation efforts in managing the importance of the corridor and its functions that facilitate the landscape approach to conservation, along with the “Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve Management Plan” prepared by Ministry of Forest and Environment, that outlines the action plan and management strategy for the only hunting reserve in Nepal.
Beyond this, WWF Nepal also organized a storytelling session for schools and children titled “Saving Predators, Saving Ecosystems” with WWF Nepal Conservation Ambassador, Venerable Ani Choying Drolma, children’s book author Vaishali Shroff, and frontline tiger conservationists from the field- Mr. DB Chaudhary, Ms. Doma Paudel, Mr. Sagar Giri, and Ms. Alina Chaudhary. Two children’s books Adventures of Shakti and Her Three Cubs by WWF Nepal & WCN, and Sita’s Chitwan by Vaishali Shroff were launched at the event.
Currently, an estimated 235 wild tigers (2018 national census) roam the country, a near double of the baseline of 121 tigers in 2009. If these trends continue, Nepal could double its national tiger population since the ambitious TX2 goal—to double the world’s wild tiger population by 2022—was set at the St Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010.
The program was organized by the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Forest and Environment (MOFE), Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) and Department of Forests and Soil Conservation (DOFSC), in collaboration with the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) Nepal and Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Nepal.
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WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. WWF has been active in Nepal since the 1960s and remains committed to the vital work being done in the region to save its unique and irreplaceable biodiversity.