Kathmandu: Minister for Forests and Environment, Shakti Bahadur Basnet has said that a top priority has been given to the protection of the snow leopard. Addressing the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection (GSLP)’s fourth standing committee meeting held in the Indian capital, New Delhi, on Wednesday, he reiterated that protection of the snow leopard is one of the major tasks for the ecosystem conservation according to RSS.
Minister Basnet also pointed out that the habitat loss, lack of food, and the human-wildlife conflict is the biggest challenge when it comes to protecting the snow leopard. He also added that the local community, especially the youths, have been made a part of the efforts towards protection of snow leopard with the realization that the government’s lone efforts would not be sufficient.
He shared that the government has been preparing to set up a Himalayan Research Centre to carry out research and works for the conservation of the snow leopard and its species, and to add 12 protected areas for the protection of wildlife and the environment. He emphasized that, apart from the local community, Nepal wants to further expand cooperation with the private sector, national, and international community working in the conservation sector.
Minister Basnet proposed to establish a regional mechanism for stopping the illegal trade of the body parts of snow leopard. He also informed about the provision of providing immediate relief and compensation to the family of the persons killed by wildlife including the snow leopard. The Minister also drew the attention of the meeting and requested to be serious towards the rapid melting of snow in the Himalayas due to the climate change which will impact the snow leopard’s habitat as well.
On the same occasion, he invited the participants of the meeting to visit Nepal during the Visit Nepal 2020. Representatives from Nepal, China, India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and Russia had attended the meeting. In Nepal, the snow leopard is found from the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area in the east to Apinampa in the west. The snow leopard population in Nepal is estimated to be more than 500.
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