September 21, 2013 is a historic day for Red Panda Network. Not only is today the 4th annual celebration of International Red Panda Day, a day created to celebrate the uniqueness of this dynamic species, but today our field team will take a historic step forward with our progress in Nepal.

Today Rajiv Paudel and Damber Bista will deliver a presentation to chief guest, Dr. Maheshwar Dhakal, Ecologist from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Mrs. Shanta Jnawali, Program Manager from National Zoo, Mr. Kamal Thapa, representative from the WWF Nepal, Dr. Dinesh Raj Bhuju, Representative from the Resources Himalaya Foundation and around 100 students from the Department of Environmental Science at Tribhuvan University will also be present.

The topic of the presentation will be our community-based involvement in eastern Nepal with the Red Panda Network Forest Guardians, local Community Forest User Groups, the local community and Red Panda-focused Roots & Shoots groups and various other conservation committees. Besides, two more presentations will also be delivered by other scholars on red panda related topics.

The purpose of the meeting is to demonstrate the urgent nature of our red panda conservation fieldwork in eastern Nepal and to request additional cooperation from the local government in our efforts to protect the fragility of the Eastern Himalayan ecosystem and red panda habitat moving forward.

The second half of the International Red Panda Day celebration in Nepal will be festive and lighthearted, as we honor the local students who have participated in our Nepal team’s Red Panda Art Contest. The significance of our local art contest in Nepal cannot be overstated, as our field team leads efforts to educate youth in Nepal regarding the value of the local ecosystem and the role red panda plays in the larger picture.

The Ecologist from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation will lead the prize distribution honoring four local artists from Kathmandu.

The Central Zoo will also be invited to participate in the celebration.

At the same time our partner organizations in three districts of Eastern Nepal (Ilam, Panchthar and Taplejung) will also be celebrating the day with huge stakeholders and community members participation.

Please stay tuned for photos and news from the event!