We’re excited to report we’ve made big strides in protecting wildlife with communities in Nepal.

Creation of anti-poaching groups

In June 2023, we took a group of community members from Jhapa and Morang districts to visit Chitwan National Park to talk with and learn from community-based anti-poaching units (CBAPUs) there. CBAPUs have been very successful in the buffer zones of national parks in Nepal. We hoped they would give the group some ideas for how they could implement community-based wildlife protection in their districts. 

In September, we held workshops in each district to get feedback from the groups about the field trip and determine if the communities felt CBAPUs could be a useful approach to mitigate poaching in their own community forests. The community forest representatives and other local leaders were very positive and decided they wanted to create their own CBAPUs then and there. So they elected committees on the spot at both workshops and they have begun the process of registering their CBAPUs officially with the government.

Gaining support from government officials and others

In January 2024, we returned to participate in workshops organized by the new CBAPUs. The objective was to highlight the issues of wildlife conservation for key stakeholders who can help mitigate the threat of poaching, including local officials from the government, Department of Forestry, police, and others. The turnout was good and the discussion lively at the workshops. It was a good first step to highlight the poaching issue.

We are also lucky in that our activities match well with what is happening at the province level. The Chief Minister of Koshi Province is committed to supporting elephant movement across the the province, which aligns well with our goal of creating a wildlife conservation corridor.

Next steps in Jhapa and Morang

We want to brainstorm with the CBAPUs what they think they need to build their capacity to raise awareness about wildlife conservation and threats to wildlife in their districts. Some initial thoughts they have are raising awareness at the grassroots level about wildlife and its conservation, especially reaching women who are often left out of these conversations but are also the primary daily users of the forest. They are usually the ones who are most likely to encounter poachers in the forest.

Extending the corridor

After the workshops in Jhapa and Morang, we traveled westward to the districts of Saptari and Udayapur. We held workshops in each district with our partner Nature Conservation and Study Centre (NCSC) to initiate camera trapping in their forests over the next few months. We will see what issues and visions arise from these communities as we explore their forests and wildlife. The Trijuga forest in Udayapur is one of the best forests in Nepal with tigers up until the 1990s. Learn more about the Udayapur project at NCSC’s website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *