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PM Deuba underscores key role of tiger in promoting tourism



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Kathmandu July 29: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said it was imperative to conserve nature for tiger protection.

Addressing a pogramme marking the International Tiger Day today at Khumaltar of Lalitpur, he said tigers played an important role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem and the biological environment, hence the need for protecting the tiger habitat. The programme was organised by the National Tiger Conservation Committee.

The whole of humankind should pay special attention to protecting the habitat of the tiger, he added.

Stating that the government was committed to protecting the tiger habitat and checking its poaching and smuggling in its parts, he said the regular patrolling and other works done by the Nepali Army for stopping tiger poaching are laudable.

He suggested that mobilizing the locals in tiger conservation would create job opportunities for the local community.

PM Deuba said the tiger's normal movement has been disturbed due to the construction of development infrastructures without taking into account its adverse impact on the environment and wildlife. He stressed on the need of finding an appropriate solution to this problem.

The Prime Minister called on all to protect the tiger's habitat from human encroachment to reduce human-tiger conflict. He expressed the government's commitment to formulating the required criteria for building wildlife-friendly infrastructures and getting them implemented.

PM Deuba noted that tiger played a significant role in promoting eco-tourism in the country. Employing the local community in tiger conservation efforts would contribute towards their income generation as well, he suggested.

"People from across the globe come to watch tigers in the wild. More such tourists are expected to come in the coming days which will help in the promotion of tourism as well as in improving the country's economic condition," the PM said.

CPN (UML)'s leader Madhav Kumar Nepal expressed his view that a separate organisation should be formed comprising mountainous countries or agencies working for environmental conservation, stressing the need of such type of organisation in the sector of climate change and environmental conservation.

Expressing happiness over the success of Tiger Conservation Campaign, started during his premiership, he said that the strategies forwarded by the International Tiger Conference held in Russia in 2012 would be useful in tiger conservation.

Similarly, former Minister Deepak Bohora said that Nepal has made significant achievements in tiger conservation through coordination and collaboration with international partners. He mentioned that challenges have surfaced in the conservation of endangered animals and birds including tiger due to risk of climate change.

Likewise, member-secretary of the National Trust for Nature Conservation, Sharad Chandra Adhikari, said that increasing the number of tigers by two-fold is a big achievement to Nepal.

Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Vinay Mohan Kwatra shared that India has made a significant contribution in tiger conservation through coordination and collaboration with Nepal-India as well as other concerned countries.
He presented the facts that out of the total population of tigers in the world, 75 per cent is in India.

Russia's Charge de Affairs to Nepal, Victor V. Evseev said that Nepal’s efforts to preserve the tiger was praiseworthy and nations having biodiversity should forge unity to preserve the tiger and biodiversity.
Nepal, among the 13 range states, is committed to doubling the tiger by 2022 as per St. Petersburg Declaration, 2010.

According to the Ministry sources, Tiger is mainly found in the five protected areas and areas outside the protected areas along the low land area of Nepal.

In line with Nepal Tiger Recovery Programme (NTRP) and Tiger Conservation Action Plan (2016-2021), third nationwide tiger and prey survey 2018 has been conducted to update the national database on tiger and their prey in Nepal. Third Nationwide Tiger and Prey Survey 2018 Nepal has shown 19% increase from 2013 estimate of 198 tigers and results give us pride and encouragement to continue our tireless efforts to save the magnificent animal which is endangered globally.

Secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Environment Dr Prem Narayan Kandel shared that the number of tigers increased due to effective policy of preserving the bio diversity, safe habitat, and prey management among others.

He shared that there are around 3,900 tigers across the world. However, the Royal Bengal Tiger is only found in Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Bhutan. Though there were nine species of the tiger, only six are in existence at present. It is guessed that the number of tigers has reached 250 in Nepal.

Home Minister Balkrishna Khand and Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Gyanendra Bahadur Karki were also present on the occasion.