Expanding Conservation into Western Nepal
RPN is expanding community conservation programs to Western Nepal
The mountain forests located outside of protected areas in this region constitute more than half of the habitat available to red pandas in Nepal. The Jumla, Jajarkot and Kalikot districts, in particular, have red panda habitat fragmented into many small patches, which are unlikely to support a viable population if connectivity is not maintained. Therefore, protecting this region must be a priority to ensure the survival of red pandas in the long run.
Due to the importance of these districts, RPN has undertaken environmental awareness campaigns, outreach activities and workshops in each one to increase the public’s understanding of the plight of red pandas and the need for conservation in the region.
Prior to RPN’s arrival, the districts lacked any conservation programs, and the people didn’t have much education about red pandas. This lack of awareness has had dire consequences. The situation is especially grim in the entire western region, where red panda poaching and trafficking have increased at an alarming rate.
While challenges remain, our project inception activities have been implemented and received very well. RPN has begun establishing monitoring blocks in Community Forests, hiring and training local individuals as Forst Guardians and completed a socioeconomic status and environmental awareness survey. We organized consultation, awareness and sharing workshops, for government officials, journalists, and various community organizations in all three districts.
Western Nepal constitutes more than half of the habitat available to red pandas, however, it is fragmented and unable to support a viable population. Protecting this region is a high priority project for RPN.
Some of our 2018 Achievements in Western Nepal
Community-based Monitoring & Anti-Poaching
- Confirmed presence of red pandas in 8 rural municipalities (RMs) through presence-absence survey.
- Socio-economic survey and conservation awareness survey organized in 8 RMs of 3 districts.
- 12 local people hired and trained as Forest Guardians.
- 19 red panda monitoring blocks established in 5 Community Forests.
- 2 trainings on wildlife crime control.
Education & Outreach
- Eco-clubs formed in 13 schools.
- 13 red panda conservation bulletin published by students and installed in 13 schools.
- 300 copies of annual bulletin prepared and published by eco-clubs.
- 19 information boards displaying messages on red panda and biodiversity conservation installed in 3 districts.
- 2500 students engaged in red panda awareness activities.
- 1000 forest users educated on the importance of red panda conservation.
- 4 hectares of deforested red panda habitat identified for restoration.
- Plantation of 4,500 tree and NTF saplings in 7 Community Forests.
- 110 households provided with medicinal and aromatic plant species.
Additionally, RPN has begun expanding into Rolpa, Dolpa, Western Rukum and Eastern Rukum districts which will ensure the connectivity of three protected areas: Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Shey Phoksundo National Park and Rara National Park.
Partners in Conservation
Foundation Segre - €299,921 over 4 years
ICFC - $91,720 over 4 years.