Miss Nepal 2017 Finalists complete NTNC Conservation Workshop

Miss Nepal 2017 Finalists complete NTNC Conservation Workshop

Nineteen finalists competing for the Miss Nepal 2017 title were hosted at the Conservation Workshop conducted by the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) at the Biodiversity Conservation Center (BCC) in Sauraha, Chitwan. Undertaken between May 5 to May 8 the workshop is part of NTNC's overall commitment to continue to educate as well as motivate influential personalities to strengthen the cause for conservation-related initiatives.

Conducted under the theme "Greening Beautiful Minds – Beauty with Purpose" the 3-day workshop comprised of a strategic mix of both classroom-style and field-based sessions.

Major topics covered during the internal class sessions started with an overview of NTNC with a particular focus on BCC activities (presented by Dr. Chiranjibi Prasad Pokharel, Project Manager at BCC). Later a thematic presentation on the topic ‘Save Nature to Save Ourself’ (by Mr. Govinda Gajurel, Member Secretary - NTNC); NTNC’s role in Wildlife Research (by Mr. Santosh Bhattarai and Mr. Paras Singh, both Conservation Officers at NTNC); and a case study establishing the role of Communicating Conservation (by Mr. Shashank Poudel, Conservation Officer, NTNC) were also made. Other indoor sessions organized for the participants included an overview of the Chitwan National Park (CNP) conducted by Mr. Ram Chandra Kandel, Chief Conservation Officer at CNP, and a separate session on CNP’s Security Overview by Lt. Col. Mr. Madav Thapa from the Nepal Army.   

Field activities were mostly planned using the ‘fun with learning’ approach and were made up of elephant safaris, jeep safaris and canoe rides wherein participants were made to indulge directly with nature and wildlife. Visits were also made to the Gharial, Vulture and Elephant Breeding Centers to give the guests a glimpse on the attention to detail being undertaken daily for the survival and rearing of the sensitive species. Another practical session on wildlife immobilization and handling of dart guns was undertaken by Mr. Bishnu Lama, Chief Wild Technician and Mr. Harkaman Lama, Sr. Wildlife Technician.

Further to ensure that the people aspect factor in conservation continues to remain at the forefront, an interaction program was conducted with the Baghmara Community Forest—a buffer zone community forest established under the Chitwan National Park in which NTNC played a crucial role during its formation. Given the long and rich history of the indiegeneous Tharu people of Chitwan, museum visit and cultural events were organized to familiarize the contestents about the Tharu peoples' harmonious coexistence with nature.

Following the MoU signed with The Hidden Treasure (THT), the organizer of Miss Nepal beauty pageant, NTNC hosted the workshop with the aim to impart knowledge on nature conservation, climate change and traditional culture of Nepal so that they can actively engage in biodiversity conservation and in the process of social transformation. The winner of Miss Nepal will thus be entitled and promoted as the "Biodiversity Conservation Ambassador" of the Trust.

By sharing our experience and knowhow in nature and wildlife conservation, NTNC expects that such exposure and insight would help empower all the contestants make a lasting difference, whilst also gaining further impetus in what the country truly represents at its core—its nature and its people.