Mountains in the Chaning World, Mountains in the Chaning World

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Biodiversity Conservation in Nepal: trends and future directions
Shishila Baniya, Jiban Sharma, Prakash Kumar Paudel

Last modified: 2017-09-01

Abstract


Nepal is a biological hotspot of global conservation significance. The country is known for exemplary successful conservation programs to protect endangered flora and fauna and their habitats over last fifty years. Nepal has set aside nearly 23.39% of area under protected area coverage. The conservation legislations and policies are evolved to support new knowledge of conservation biology in the human dominated landscapes. The aim of this study was to determine trends of conservation practices in the last 50 years by evaluating conservation policies and actions. The modern history of conservation began with establishment of rhinoceros sanctuary in Chitwan valley in early 1950s. This resound strict conservation approach focusing particular species, mainly tigers, rhinoceros, elephants, water buffalos and swamp deer. This approach resulted in increasing park-people conflict and was criticized for failing to address the local people’s participation. Consequently, community based conservation came into practice since 1980.  This allowed local community to take stewardship in conservation. However, small fragmented protected areas were identified as insufficient to protect meta-population dynamics of species in question and ecological services. Thus, landscape and trans-boundary conservation—beyond protected areas boundaries—began since 2001. Now, Nepal has 12 national parks, 1wildlife hunting, 1 wildlife reserve, 6 conservation areas, 13 buffer zones and 5 landscape conservation programs, which suggest a clear paradigm shift towards ecosystem based conservation with active participation of local communities.

Keywords: Hotspot, Endangered species, Legislation, Protected areas, Meta-population

 


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