Protecting Endangered Species (One–Horned Rhinoceros and Tigers) in Nepal from Conflict, Poaching and Trade
Project location: NEPAL, Kathmandu
Project start date: July 2012 - Project end date: July 2013
Project number: 2012-016
Beneficiary: Wildlife Conservation Nepal
This project aimed at protecting the population of endangered species of Chitwan National Park by sensitizing and empowering the communities that live in the buffer zone of the National Park.
The following activities were conducted during the timeline of July -October 2012.
Activity 1.2 : Creating Awareness on Rhino-Tiger conservation (July-September)
Workshops on building Community (July- August)
August 31, 2012
Two workshops on building community and strengthening their knowledge on Rhinos and Tigers, their present status and illegal activities associated with its trade and information regarding the rules and regulation related to wildlife crime was conducted to the members of six communities within the buffer zone of Chitwan District namely: Bote tole, Pathihani VDC -1; Gaida, Kathar VDC -8; Padampur Community Forest User group of Padampur VDC and Jutpani VDC; Tikauli Buffer zone Community Forest User Group, Ratna Nagar Municipality; Simara, Dibya Nagar, VDC and Bakulahar, Ratna Nagar Municipality.
They were also informed about the Government policy and the procedures to follow for compensation in case of death or injury of a family member and destroyed crops because of willdife species.
Training on Intelligence Gathering (July- September).
Date : September 1, 2012
To further protect these species in their natural habitat WCN conducted a training on Intelligence gathering to women members of six buffer zone areas of Chitwan District namely: Bote tole, Pathihani VDC -1; Gaida, Kathar VDC -8; Padampur Community Forest User group of Padampur VDC and Jutpani VDC; Tikauli Buffer zone Community Forest User Group, Ratna Nagar Municipality; Simara, Dibya Nagar, VDC and Bakulahar, Ratna Nagr Municipality.
An unofficial women's network was formed in the communities and trained them ways to contribute for the protection of the endangered species and their natural habitat. They were asked to be vigilant on the activities of any unidentified people who enter their village premises or the national parks. If they find any tipoff about any illegal activities regarding wildlife crime they were encouraged to inform either directly to the Enforcement Agencies or to WCN office.
Activity 2.1: Empowering vulnerable groups
Outreach programs in Schools (August - October)
Date: September 2-4, 2012
WCN conducted a one day outreach program from September 2nd-6th, 2012 in 5 schools of Patihani VDC of Chitwan Distric, which is a buffer zone area very prone to human-wildlife conflicts. The program which was designed for students of classes 7, 8 and 9 focused on conservation of endangered species, environment, bio-diversity and climate change issues.
With the help of pictorial presentations our facilitators educated students on the importance of endangered species in balancing the ecosystem and the various threats it faces due to the current rise in wildlife trade.
WCN follows the "Child to Home to Community" concept and aims to bring about change in the society with the help of students. Hence, such outreach programs in schools will encourage the students to develop awareness in their homes about conservation of these endangered species with the help of local communities themselves.
Training on Vocational Trainings
Date : October 2-4, 2012
Bio-briquettes training: The target community for this activity was Bote tole, Patihani, Village Development Committee (VDCs) of Chitwan District. The residents of this village mostly comprise of Bote Communities who survive on fishing for a living and are having a hard time to make ends meet. As these communities live in the buffer zone of Chitwan National Park (CNP), they depend on forest resources espcially for firewood. Such activities pose serious threat to the natural habitat of the endangered species. WCN conducted a three day long training workshop on "Identification, Collection of Raw Materials and Briquette making" to thirty women representing each household of the village. This training workshop was focused on producing briquettes using alien species like Mikenia micrantha and Eupatorium sp. which are found in abundance in the surronding areas. The briquette making tools were handed over to the community.
The training will help in minimizing conflict situations with the National park officials while meeting the energy demands in the household level. Excess briquettes can be sold in the local market which will even help community members to generate revenue.
TIMELINE OF THE PRESENT ACTIVITY REPORT: From Nov 2012 to June 2013
This project aimed at protecting endangered species population of the Chitwan National Park by sensitizing and empowering the communities that live in the buffer zone of the National Park.
Detailed description of the activities
- implemented and of the methodologies applied
- Results obtained (preliminary or final)
- Anticipation of the next steps and expected results (if this is an interim report)
Following activities were conducted during the timeline of November 2012 – June 2013
Activity 1.2: Creating Awareness on Rhino-Tiger conservation
1.2.3 Awareness through dissemination of posters, fact sheets and public speaking (May 15 – May 18, 2013)
The communities living in the fringes of the CNP have little or no knowledge on the importance of protected species in the balance of the ecosystem or about the laws put forth by the Government to penalize any individual caught in illegal wildlife trade of these species, WCN aimed to bridge the gap of such negligence through the use of visual aids.
The program was carried out in five schools of Patihani VDC of Chitwan where students were sensitized about the “Role of Local Students on Wildlife Conservation” through power-point presentations on May 15th and 18th, 2013. They were briefed about the faunal biodiversity of Nepal; focusing more on rhino and tiger conservation. They were also provided knowledge about the importance of these species, their population status, causes of decrement, needs and benefits of rhino and tiger conservation and role of local students in their conservation.
Following the awareness campaigns, a total of 2000 posters, factsheets and bookmarks were distributed amongst the communities and the five schools of Patihani VDC on May 15th and 18th, 2013. These factsheets and bookmarks provided information on the current status of the Royal Bengal Tiger and One-horned Rhinoceros, the laws stated by the 'National Parks and Conservation Act,2029', which states that any individual caught illegal wildlife trade activities of these species are subjected to a fine penalty or jail sentence.
On May 18th 2013, WCN volunteers gathered community members and ran a brief overview on the importance of protecting the rhino and tiger and its contribution to the economy through its protection through ecotourism.
Activity 2.1 Training on Vocational Trainings
(Dec 16 – 17, 2012 and May 16 – 17, 2013)
WCN conducted workshops on exploring the potential of Ecotourism in Bote tole of Patihani VDC, a marginalized community situated in the buffer zone area of CNP , on December 16 -17, 2012. The members of this community mainly depend on fishing as a source of livelihood but because of fierce competition they are now subjected to very less economic growth. Being situated close to the National Park, eco-tourism was recognized as an asset, as the area has the advantage of a high biodiversity. The eco-tourism workshop was facilitated by Ms. Doma Poudel, a Nature Guide from Chitwan. Ms. Poudel shared her personal experience as a nature guide and elucidated on the responsibilities and ethics of a nature guide. The participants were asked to prepare mind maps on the opportunities and challenges of developing Bote Tole as an ecotourism destination. The workshop also included a nature walk through a trail on the fringes of the National Park and she pointed out the characteristic keys to identify the local important flora and fauna.
The eco-tourism training will not only increase the household income of this community but will also motivate local communities to protect tigers, rhinos and other species found in the area, as its protection becomes a symbol for their source of income generation.
As a follow up of the training that was held in December, 2012, a follow up meeting was also conducted on May 16 and 17, 2013 where the participants from the training took part and discussed about the opportunities that has been explored after the training. More than 10 members of the community are willing to undergo a rigorous training course and the community themselves are in the process of creating awareness about their custom and tradition through a musuem. WCN has also provided support in the restoration of the community building for the establishment of museum.
Awareness programs on Rhino-Tiger Conservation:
Awareness campaigns and dissemination of posters, factsheets and bookmarks: The awareness campaigns conducted in six communities within the buffer zone of Chitwan National Park and dissemination of posters, factsheets and bookmarks educated the children and the community members on the importance of protecting these endangered species in their natural habitat. Awareness to protect endangered species in Nepal from conflict, poaching and trade reached out to approximately 3000 local people through the awareness campaigns and the neighboring communities.
Various outreach programs were conducted in five schools of Patihani VDC of Chitwan District, a buffer zone area that is very prone to human-wildlife conflict. In the same schools awareness campaigns with the help of power-point presentation were also conducted along with distribution of posters, factsheets and bookmarks. Through these outreaches and awareness campaigns an average of 2000 students are believed to have improved knowledge on conservation and protection of their environment. The outreach programs were designed and conducted to complement WCN's 'Child to Home to Community' approach that encourages young children to carry the values of conservation to their homes and thus their communities.
Bio-Briquettes: The members of Bote tole, Patihani VDC of Chitwan District received vocational trainings on producing Bio-briquettes using alien species like Mikenia micrantha and Eupatorium sp. which are locally found in abundance. With the help of the training and the briquette making tools provided to the community, the women members have benefitted from the sale of these briquettes during the 3 month long winter season in Nepal.
Through our follow up program on these women groups it was brought to our notice that they were using the profit for further capacity building programs and also as an alternate income generation
Eco-tourism: The eco-tourism training provided to young members of Bote tole of Patihani VDC, has helped in generating ideas to earn income while promoting the natural landscape of the area. This has led to increased household income, giving them a sense of ownership and responsibility towards the habitat protection of of the varied flora and fauna available in and around CNP.
Volunteer recruitment: WCN encourages youth participation in its various developmental projects and allows them to be the agents of change. Active participation of volunteers for school outreaches and for workshop, training and awareness programs have built the capacity of these young students and are groomed to be the future conservationists of Nepal.