Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said that it is essential to protect the environment and the habitat of tigers for their conservation.
Speaking at a program organised by the National Tiger Conservation Committee on the occasion of International Tiger Day in Lalitpur today, PM Deuba said that the human community should pay special attention to protest the habitat of tigers.
Stating that the government is committed to protecting tiger habitat and controlling poaching of wild animals, the Prime Minister suggested mobilising locals for the conservation of tigers. He said that attention would be paid to the conservation of habitats affected due to development infrastructure. Moreover, he said mobilising locals for the conservation of tigers would create employment opportunities for them. He said, "The government is committed to formulate and implement the necessary criteria for the construction of wildlife-friendly infrastructure."
The Prime Minister opined that tigers could be a means of promoting international tourism in Nepal which is famous for the Royal Bengal tiger. He pointed out the need to work for the development of tigers' habitat as well as tourism.
On the occasion, CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal expressed his view that it was necessary to form a separate organisation of the Himalayan country for the protection of the environment.
Former Prime Minister Nepal expressed his pleasure about the success of the tiger conservation campaign launched during his tenure as prime minister. He said that the strategy put forward by the 1912 International Tiger Conference held in Russia would be useful in the conservation of the big cat.
Stating that Nepal has made significant achievements in tiger conservation through coordination and cooperation with international partners, former Minister Deepak Bohora said that the threat of climate change has posed a challenge to the conservation of various endangered species including tigers.
Likewise, Member Secretary of the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), Sharad Chandra Adhikari, said that Nepal has achieved success in the conservation of tigers, adding that increasing the population of tigers by double was a success.
Stating that India has made a significant contribution to tiger conservation through coordination and cooperation with Nepal and India as well as other stakeholders, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra said that 75 per cent of the population of the world's tigers inhabits in India. He gave an example that there were only nine tiger reserves in India in 1973 and now increased to 50.
Viktor Viktorovich Evseev, Minister-Counsellor and deputy head of mission at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Nepal, praised Nepal's efforts for the conservation of tigers and said that the cooperation of the countries concerned was essential for the conservation of biodiversity.
No. of tigers doubles in Nepal
In the World Tiger Conference held in 2010 in St Petersburg, Russia saw the participation of the heads of 13 countries including Nepal. At the conference, Nepal had pledged to double the number of tigers from 121 to 250 by 2022.
According to the 2018 census, the number of tigers in Nepal reached 235. Since the conference was held, the countries where tigers are found today have been celebrating World Tiger Day on July 29. This year, Nepal has organised International Tiger Day with the slogan 'Tiger Existence: Human Responsibility. In 2010, there were 121 tigers in Nepal, but now there are 250.
Secretary at the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Prem Narayan Kandel, said that the number of tigers in Nepal has increased due to the management of biodiversity, food and shelter. According to him, there are 3,900 tigers in the world. The Royal Bengal tigers are found in Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Bhutan only. Although there were nine species of tigers in the world, only six species are found worldwide since three species have become extinct.
"It has been estimated that Nepal has more than 250 tigers and that it is necessary to move ahead with a clear strategy on conservation management and the number of tigers," Kandel said. According to the NTNC, the activities of tigers are being studied with a radio device. One person is attacked by a tiger every month on average.
Minister for Home Affairs Bal Krishna Khand and Minister for Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Gyanendra Bahadur Karki were also present in the programme.