Word Wildlife Day 2017 observed at NTNC

A student addressing the function on youth role
A student addressing the function on youth role

A programme marking the World Wildlife Day celebrations was held yesterday on March 2 at the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) auditorium in Khumaltar, Lalitpur. Organized by the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC), in co-organization with IUCN, NTNC, SAWEN, WWF and ZSL, this year, the annual event slogan: ‘Listen to the youth voices’ संरक्षणकोआधार: युवाकोआवाज , was made to give impetus to drive conservation and pro-wildlife efforts to the over one-fourth youth population around the world between ages 10 and 24 years.

Amid wide participation from various key stakeholders, with over 300 participants in attendance, most of whom were school students from FoZ (Friends of Zoo), the chief guest for the event was the Hon. Minister, MoFSC, Mr. Shankar Bhandari, also Chairman of NTNC. The event being undertaken with the objective of keeping in stride with the challenges faced around the world in Wildlife Conservation, the Minister encouraged youth role in Nepal to come together to address some of the pressing issues like: thereats to wildlife habitat and encroachment, human-wildlife conflict, over-exploitation or illegal poaching and illicit trafficking. Mr. Bhandari also maintained the need for scientifically-backed and action-based intervention measures, and requested all related stakeholders (especially the press) to be more responsive to natural resource conservation as well as to natural resource utilization. 

Related topics were also espoused by the expert panelist at the event consisting of: Dr. Uday Raj Sharma, Dr. Swayambhu Man Amatya, Dr. Annapurna Nanda Das, Dr. Dinesh Raj Bhuju--all fielding questions from the press and the audience alike. A presentation on Nepal's Current Wildlife Conservation Status and Progress was also made by Dr. Maheshwar Dhakal, Joint Secretary, MoFSC. Other imminent personalities at the event included Mr. Krishna Prasad Acharya, Director General, Department of Forest; Mr. Govinda Gajurel, Member Secretary, NTNC; Mr. Birendra Yadav, Chairman, President Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation Development Board (PCTMCDB). During the event, distribution of acknoledgement certificates in recognition of the contributions of varying personalities to conservation and environment was also handed by the the Hon. Minister.

Apart from the distinguished personalities at the event, 2 students, one female and one male speaker each, also took to address the gathering. Implying that the need for commitment and guidance was crucial for instilling youth leadership, a student from Patan Multiple Campus reminded the gathering that "conservation didn't have to mean all kinds of big and complicated things," but instead, that it was meant to be an outcome of every small step and action.