More than 25 community members worked with Red Panda Network to create a Red Panda Conservation Committee (RPCC) in the Pathibhara Area around Derauli, Taplejung District. Three attendees were from District level organizations (District Forest Office – DFO, Federation of Community Forest Users Nepal – FECOFUN, and Pathibhara Zone Conservation Committee – PZCC); 14 were from Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs), and 8 participants represented women groups and civil societies. The participants nominated a 13 member committee, including the representatives from eight CFUGs, women groups and civil societies from five villages (VDCs) including Tiringe, Hangdewa, Phawakhola, Phurumbu and Sikaicha.

Red Panda Network’s Taplejung partner organization, Himali Conservation Forum (HCF) as well as the PZCC are also members of the Committee. Mr. Prem Bahadur Sembu, the chairperson of Pathibhara Sembu Community Forest User Group in Phawakhola VDC, was nominated to chair the committee. An advisory committee of three members including the DFO, FECOFUN and RPN has also been formed on the day.

RPN community conservation coordinator Damber Bista facilitated the meeting: “Our long-term success in red panda habitat protection is founded on the strong commitment for action the communities in this area have shown since we started working here.” The newly formed RPCC is supposed to gear up the conservation initiatives by maximizing the community involvement.

The participants welcomed the continuous support from RPN to the committee to help make their work effective. Assistant District Forest Officer, Mr. Sushil Kumar Mandal, assured the participants that the DFO will always be helpful in their innovative conservation initiative.
Red Panda Network - Taplejung: Deurali Red Panda Conservation Committee founders, 2012-09-24
Red Panda Network - Taplejung: Deurali Red Panda Conservation Committee founders, September 24th, 2012

The persons in the photographs from right, First row: Dev Bahadur Limbu, Yam Bahadur Limbu, Damber Bista, Indira Chaulagain, Chandrakala Bhattarai, Kishnamaya Bhattarai and Menuka Bhattarai; Second Row: Prem Bahadur Sembu, Tek Bahadur Basnet, Bijaya Dangi, Kamal Prashad Igam, Ashok Basnet, Sushil Kumar Mandal and Kul Bahadur Limbu; Third Row: Bharat Mani Basnet,  Syangmu Sherpa,  Krishna Ojha and Ramesh Rai; Last Row: Bal Bahadur Sherpa, Sharmila Limbu, Laxmi Kaphle, Pasang Rita Sherpa and Nima Kirke Sherpa