Nepal Receives CITES Commendation for Wildlife Conservation
In recognition of extraordinary efforts to stop the poaching of wildlife within its borders, Nepal was awarded the CITES Secretary-General’s Certificate of Commendation at the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) conference which formed part of the agenda of the CITES Standing Committee held on 7-11 July 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. Due to a number of different conservation programs, there were no tiger, elephant and rhinoceros deaths in Nepal in 2011. In 2012, one rhinoceros was killed by poachers, but on 3 March 2014, a day declared by the United Nations as World Wildlife Day, Nepal could once again say that 365 days had passed with no poaching taking place. The certificate was accepted by a representative of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation of Nepal, with acknowledgement to all national agencies involved in protecting wildlife in Nepal.
Wildlife protection measures in Nepal include patrols by rangers along with soldiers from the Nepalese army, as well as community-based anti-poaching projects outside the borders of national parks. Moreover, efforts by intelligence units have led to the arrest of masterminds behind criminal activities against wildlife.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) undertakes to protect endangered animals and plants with the cooperation of voluntarily participating countries. Operational since 1 July 1975, CITES lists more than 35,000 species of animals and plants that are deemed to need protection to prevent them from becoming extinct in the wild due to international trade.
Since 1973, Nepal has established various national parks and nature reserves to protect its fauna, and by 1992 more than 893,200 hectares of land were considered to be protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2029. Both the Sagarmatha National Park and Chitwan National Park are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Furthermore, the Sagarmatha National Park is listed by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA) – a globally significant habitat for bird population conservation. No doubt nature-lovers appreciate all the measures being taken to protect the country’s natural heritage.