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Plans afoot for Asia-wide operations against wildlife poaching

antipoachgKATHMANDU: Officials and experts from 13 countries including India are discussing ways to combat poaching during a regional symposium that kicked off here this week.

The five-day symposium on “Towards Zero Poaching in Asia” is aimed at promoting Asia-wide operations to combat poaching of endangered species such as tigers, rhinos and elephants.

During the symposium which opened Monday, wildlife experts, government officials and conservationists including from Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, India, Nepal and Vietnam discussed the best practices to achieve zero poaching.

Experts shared anti-poaching measures, tools and technologies to launch a coordinated push to curb poaching in Asia.

“Criminal syndicates are emptying Asian forests to feed an unrelenting illegal wildlife trade a multi-billion dollar industry,” said a press release from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Nepal.

Diwakar Chapagain, senior wildlife expert at WWF Nepal, said Nepal is the only country to have achieved zero poaching through its community supported conservation practices.

It has achieved remarkable success in wildlife conservation mainly due to its three C policies: commitment, collaboration and coordination of conservation efforts.

“Nepal and India are our tiger heavyweights leading the region. India excels at recovering tiger numbers and Nepal at zero poaching,” said Mike Baltzer of WWF Tigers Alive Initiative.

India reported a 30% jump in tiger numbers since 2010 while Nepal witnessed the numbers rise almost two-thirds between 2009 and 2013 with its last poaching incident in March 2012.

In Nepal, the local community has been mobilised for managing, conserving and utilising forest resources which is significantly helping conservation efforts.

Fifty percent of the income generated by national parks has been channeled towards community development activities such as setting up schools, providing irrigation facilities and building rural roads that have indirectly helped wildlife conservation.

The symposium is hosted by Nepal’s Department of National Parks and  Wildlife Conservation in collaboration with WWF.  – From Press Trust of India. 

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